Aug 20 2008

Google hacking the Olympics

Published by at 4:08 am under Uncategorized

Johny Long, the well-known Google search hacker linked to a very interesting blog post on Stryde Hax about the controversy over Chinese gymnast He Kexin. In it, Stryde Hax uses some Google hacks on Baidu (the most popular Chinese search site) to come up with two cached spreadsheets that show He Kexin’s birth year as 1994 which would make her ineligible for the Olympics.

The documents were apparently removed from the government website where they were originally found. Then again – it could have been that the original government documents were wrong and her birth year has been 1992 all along. I can’t say for certain.

If you are interested in Google hacking, take a look at this TDV article.

Update: This article talks about the PRC response to the IOC requested investigation into He Kexin’s age. The response indicates that the paperwork that read 1994 instead of 1992 was in error. That’s probably the last we’ll hear about it except from the China bashers.

Update Two: The Stryde Hax blog has been updated with a link to another PRC government document that lists Jiang Yuyuan’s age as November 1, 1993. Google hacking is cool.

10 responses so far

10 Responses to “Google hacking the Olympics”

  1. ThoaiOnlineon 20 Aug 2008 at 8:10 am

    I think you should chance “show He’s birth year” to “show his birth year”. It’s just a simple grammar mistake.

    Feel free to remove this comment ;)

    Are you Chinese?

  2. Austinon 20 Aug 2008 at 8:49 am

    “He” is the name of the gymnast in question.

  3. jumperon 20 Aug 2008 at 9:32 am

    Thanks for fielding the question for me Austin. I’ll change it to the gymnast’s full name so there isn’t any confusion.

  4. Heikeon 20 Aug 2008 at 6:23 pm

    (Moved comment from “hacker gang busted” to here, it seems to be meant for this post)

    # lowtech2dayon 20 Aug 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Great story to shed the light on the Olympic Spirit in China…
    I have seen other media is picking up the story and talking it up
    for example:
    look forward to your next hot posting, 4 the real coverage of the Olympics one should tune in here….

  5. Eastwoodon 21 Aug 2008 at 12:07 pm

    So the real question is… what if she’s under-age?

  6. jumperon 21 Aug 2008 at 1:03 pm

    @Eastwood -

    If she is underage, it means a couple of things. 1. The PRC government (or some individuals within) prepared her documents to backup the age claim. 2. The PRC government and the search engine operators (Google and Baidu) both removed documents that supported the underage claim. The memory-hole aspect is most interesting, I think.

    Then again, like I said in the post, the earlier documents could have been a mistake. It seems pretty suspicious though and it makes an intersting conspiracy. Cool uses for Google/Baidu hacking, too. I doubt we’ll ever find out for certain though.

    How was your trip by the way?

  7. Heikeon 21 Aug 2008 at 4:08 pm


    Could you answer Dominic White’s question on the video post of China’s Cyber Warriors? The question clearly is in your lane, way outside mine.

  8. Eastwoodon 22 Aug 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Heike: yeah the trip was excellent, thanks! Plenty to see, plenty to experience. You can really “taste” the Olympics while you’re there. Have you ever visited China?

  9. Heikeon 22 Aug 2008 at 4:27 pm


    Been to Beijing 4X, Nanjing 1X and Shanghai 1X. Would love to have gone during the Olympics but couldn’t come up with a good reason.

    Love going to China, the people are fantastic and I always end up gaining five pounds. I am so jealous of you!

  10. Eastwoodon 23 Aug 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Yeah.. I better start getting back into shape after all that Peking Duck!