Google threatens to withdraw from China

Google is threatening to pull out of China because of attacks on its servers aimed at Chinese human rights activists:

“These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered — combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web — have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down, and potentially our offices in China.”

(Via The Lowy Interpreter)

3 Responses to “Google threatens to withdraw from China”

  1. “Google’s plan to withdraw from China may be as much about poor business prospects as ethics” At least, that is the case now.

  2. mike says:

    Yup, they’ve definitely burned their bridges! I’m not really convinced by TechCrunch’s argument that this is primarily a business decision, though – you don’t walk away from the second-largest share of the world’s largest and most rapidly expanding market in order to make money. Unless Google executives, like the rest of us, have got so used to the company occupying the #1 spot that they find it hard to imagine anything else?

  3. by threatening to leave, google may
    1) have launched an effective PR campaign echoed by silicon valley folks who feel their mission is to change the world
    2) be able to cut a deal with the government and increase its market penetration – i’m sure google will engage in “high-level” talks with china. time will tell.