As I was getting ready to leave for a summer vacation, an emergency call came from our service desk: “The Internet is in Chinese!” After a few back and forth questions, and a little bit of investigation, I determined that Google had suddenly marked an entire /44 prefix as being geolocated in Hong Kong. When connecting to https://www.google.com/, everyone was automatically redirected to https://www.google.com.hk/.
This only affected the IPv6 block. The corresponding IPv4 block was not affected.
I checked the major commercial geolocation providers, and they all reported a (correct) US location for those addresses. This page was very helpful in locating the sites to check. At that point, I was confident it was only Google that was affected.
I also noted that going to https://www.google.com/ncr disables this redirect (“no country redirect”), and provided that to the service desk as an interim workaround.
I reached out to an engineer at one of our upstreams that I know has a direct peering relationship with Google. They immediately opened a ticket on our behalf and received the following response:
Predicting user location from IP is known as IP Geolocation. Our systems detect whatever the location is updated through the ISP portal.
If the issue do still persist you can do below. Thank You.
If you would like to provide a Geolocation feed for the prefixes you originate, please provide an IP Geolocation feed on the ISP portal via Configuration > Data > IP Geolocation.
Please be advised it can take up to 3 weeks for changes to update. If no update has been completed after this time, respond back to this thread for further follow up.
“Three weeks!” We filled out the data. There was a bunch more back and forth, including a NOC engineer insisting it was a DNS issue. (It obviously wasn’t.) Eventually persistence paid off, and it was fixed. I was very grateful to the engineer at our upstream for saving my vacation.