Google Threatens to Withdraw From China

In a shocking announcement, Google said that it may consider shutting down its operations in China.

Google reported that several of its gmail accounts belonging to Chinese human rights activists were compromised this week, leading company officials to reconsider its business model in China. Analysts believe that the attacks were made from within China's government, but no confirmation was given. Google officials did not disclose whether or not Google believed affected Gmail accounts were attacked by the China's government.

The search giant, along with many others, have long been under scrutiny by Beijing officials. In China, there is no such thing as freedom of search. China monitors and censors topics that it deems inappropriate for its citizens. Subject matter such as those that do not follow the Chinese government's political stance, or of pornographic nature, are blocked from access.

"We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China," said Google's Chief Legal Officer David Drummond.

"These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with 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."

It remains to be seen whether or not Google will take such actions, but according to analysts, it could be possible.

Up until this point, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and others, have all complied with China's demands. Censorship is a very hot topic for China, and while many companies and groups have spoken out against China's restrictions on its users, government officials remain firm that censoring is the best course of action for its people.

Google.cn generates roughly $1 billion for Google.

More on Reuters.

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  • Vestin
    GodhatesusallWhat kind of communism dictates that the means of production are controlled by individuals?

    The Chinese kind. I'm glad you asked.
    They are a communist country with free-market economy. Again - don't make the false (marxist in its nature, BTW) assumption that once you've described the country's economy, you know everything about its government and society.

    Also - I believe that while Google does care about profits it also simply wants to make the world a better place. Call me naive, but I believe that Google not only is not and will not be evil... it's actually a force of good, not just another corporation with splendid PR.
    21
  • Godhatesusall
    MindfieIdsCommunists are sick puppies! they wanna control every aspect your life! GRRR!


    May i remind you that chinas has stopped being communist loooooooooooong time ago?

    I mean, McDonald's,Apple, Microsoft, Google etc all have offices there(and make lots of $$). What kind of communism dictates that the means of production are controlled by individuals?

    Better change the phrase to

    "Chinese capitalists are sick puppies! they wanna control every aspect of our life! GRRR!"
    16
  • MindfieIds
    Communists are sick puppies! they wanna control every aspect your life! GRRR!
    14
  • Other Comments
  • avatarprime
    Quote:
    "Google.cn may be nearing its life."


    Nearing its death? Nearing the end of its life?
    8
  • MindfieIds
    Communists are sick puppies! they wanna control every aspect your life! GRRR!
    14
  • Godhatesusall
    Google won't do it.....

    Seriously,does anyone here believe that a huge multi-national corporation will just throw away 1 bn $ just because they "care about censorship"?

    Corporations are corporations, and by definition are greedy.
    It is people who must force corporations to act differently, but i didnt notice any serious movement to force google to stand against china's censorship policies.
    0