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Google Readying To Pull Out of China 343

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the rumor-and-speculation dept.
Sagelinka writes "Both Google and the Chinese government appear to be leaking word that the search firm may soon shutter its operations there as negotiations between the two break down. Google first threatened to halt its operations in China after disclosing in January that an attack on its network from inside China was aimed at exposing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. At the time, Google also said it was reconsidering its willingness to censor search results of users in China as required by the government. 'I think Google thought China would be flexible,' said Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group. Google has since been negotiating with the Chinese government to find a way to continue operating in the country. Google did not respond today to requests for comment on the state of the negotiations with China."
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Google Readying To Pull Out of China

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  • by SputnikPanic (927985) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:38AM (#31496396)

    Good. Google should never have made that devil's bargain in the first place.

    • by c++0xFF (1758032)

      It seems to me that they were looking for an excuse to leave, and the hacking provided exactly that.

      • by lyinhart (1352173) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:59AM (#31496820)

        It seems to me that they were looking for an excuse to leave, and the hacking provided exactly that.

        Don't know about that. China's got millions and millions of potential Google users in a fast developing market. Google probably wanted to be there and wanted to stay, but not on the (probably unfair) terms of Chinese government.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by severoon (536737)

          My uninformed opinion about this is that Google made the deal in the first place because they recognize the difference between the Chinese government and the Chinese people, and after doing the calculus on it they reasoned that the overall benefit to the people was worth dealing with the government's rules, provided they didn't get too overt with it. I'm sure they also figured into it: once the people get a taste of a great search engine, and it gets taken away, they know what they're missing. If Google nev

      • It seems to me that they were looking for an excuse to leave

        Apart from their "Do No Evil" motto, is there any particular reference you have for that assumption?
        • by c++0xFF (1758032) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @12:51PM (#31497724)

          Sorry. Re-reading my statement it seems that I was too quick to submit -- that's not quite what I meant to say. And the result is that the comment got modded as a troll.

          I don't have a reference or any reputable source -- only an inkling or gut feeling.

          What it comes down to is Google stopped censoring results (admitting that google.cn will probably be shut down) because of a hacking attempt. This reasoning always seemed a bit dubious to me.

          Google doesn't have many ways of getting back at the Chinese government: refusing to censor is one of the few. More to the point is that it provided a means to make waves in China: "If you're not going to play by the rules, neither will we!"

          So, yeah. Maybe an excuse to "leave" isn't quite what I should have said. Let me edit my statement:

          It seems to me that they were looking for an excuse to threaten to leave.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      I thought this was an excalibur joke about pulling out of China?

    • I think it's a good move for Google. China seems like it's a pain in the ass for them. They might as well sit it out for now, and if things change in China, they can always jump back in.
    • by yog (19073) * on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @12:45PM (#31497636) Homepage Journal

      It seems that Google can't win. Either they make a deal with the devil as SputnikPanic puts it, or they behave ethically and attract savage criticism from armchair quarterbacks everywhere.

      Google has a corporate culture of idealism, no doubt fed by the youthfulness of its top executives and much of its staff. Beyond that, they have traditionally been a good corporate citizen, giving a lot of their work back to the community by open sourcing it.

      They created the Android phone operating system to be an open alternative to the various proprietary systems. Anyone can take it and run with it. A whole menagerie of excellent smart phones has emerged with Google technology at their core.

      Almost all of Google's apps--search, email, scholar, news, maps, voice, and on and on--are free to use, usually in exchange for mild ad text and aggregated use data.

      Google gets it. They do things right. They reward innovation, they encourage creativity. They are the epitome of a great American company.

      Therefore, to top off their greatness by refusing to deal with a censoring, dissident-hacking corrupt communist-only-in-name dictatorship is both admirable and gutsy and uniquely American. If only all American companies operated on principles rather than pure greed, think what a better society we would have, and a better world.

      I feel duty-bound to support Google in whatever ways I can. Right now it's my Nexus One phone, my gmail, and when I have some spare cash I'll buy a few shares of stock. Go, Google! Show those arrogant turds that at least a few Americans still believe in freedom over profit.

    • by King_TJ (85913) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @12:55PM (#31497788) Journal

      Anything short of Google exiting China completely would just emphasize China's stance that they can censor anyone, any time -- and even the USA will bow to their demands, when push comes to shove.

      It's irrelevant if "Bing takes their place", really. This isn't about Bing or Microsoft right now. It's about Google and how THEY will react to being told by a nation how to run a search engine.

      If and when Microsoft opportunistically steps in and offers to do what Google refused to do, THEN it will be about Microsoft. We can cross that bridge when we come to it.

  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:38AM (#31496402) Journal

    After all, Microsoft never signed a 'do no evil' clause.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:39AM (#31496440)
      In fact, such a clause would run entirely counter to their whole operation.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      You read my mind. "Do no evil" is a good mantra for Google, but it also means they will lose business in China, and somebody else will gain a virtually monopoly as the "default" search engine - namely Microsoft. So come 2020 we'll have a divided world where Google is the #1 search engine in America/Europe and MS Bing will be #1 in China and its protectorates.

      It's like reading a prequel to Firefly.

      IMHO Google would be better off to enter the Chinese market and gain dominance, and then *gradually* bring m

      • Correction: "...by using their economic muscle to buyoff Chinese [politicians] in the government..."

        The last thing we need is a Microsoft-Chinese government collusion. Two monopolies acting as one..... it's like a Bill Gates' wet dream.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Pretty sure Baidu's 60+% market share is going to hold in China...

      • by Zocalo (252965) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:52AM (#31496700) Homepage
        Someone else is already a virtual monopoly in China. Baidu is by far and away the most popular search engine in China and even Google is essentially an also ran, while Bing and Yahoo are barely above the level of being statistical noise.
      • by c (8461)

        > ... and somebody else will gain a virtually monopoly as
        > the "default" search engine - namely Microsoft.

        I agree with the "somebody else" part, but if you think the chinese gateway to the Internet (which is what a search engine is these days) is going to be any company not directly under the thumb of the chinese government...

        Baidu, sure. Bing, no.

        c.

      • by iserlohn (49556)

        Baidu is the market leader with ~60% marketshare. Bing has only ~6% of the market, mostly through Yahoo.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by spooje (582773)
        You read my mind. "Do no evil" is a good mantra for Google, but it also means they will lose business in China, and somebody else will gain a virtually monopoly as the "default" search engine - namely Microsoft. So come 2020 we'll have a divided world where Google is the #1 search engine in America/Europe and MS Bing will be #1 in China and its protectorates.

        No, Baidu will be the default search engine. Oh, but wait it already is!

        It's not as if Google didn't try to dominate the market in China, but the go

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      I'm pretty sure that "do no evil" slogan isn't legally binding...
    • by Iyonesco (1482555)

      There's a reason BIDU hit $630 yesterday having only been $100 a year ago and it's not because Bing will be taking Google's place.

      I can't see Google withdrawing because they'd be handing what will be the world's biggest market over to a competitor. The free speech situation would also become worse with BIDU as the main search engine since they'll be far more inclined to do exactly what the government tells them.

      It makes no sense financially or socially so Google would have to be completely stupid to pull

  • Yahoo/Microsoft (Score:3, Insightful)

    by _PimpDaddy7_ (415866) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:38AM (#31496410)

    and I'm sure Microsoft and Yahoo will be more than willing to fill in any gaps...

  • China (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:38AM (#31496414)

    Frankly, I'm suprised Chinese officials didn't have any Google employees executed over this.

  • Posturing? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by C_Kode (102755) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:40AM (#31496448) Journal

    I think this is only posturing on Google's part. While China isn't a huge profit machine right now for them, access to 1.3B Internet users will be a big deal down the road.

    If they step aside, they will only be opening the door for the growth of Bing. Since search is probably 99% of their income, giving way to a competitor is not something they want to be doing.

    I highly doubt Google folds up shop in China.

    • by Shivetya (243324) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:48AM (#31496622) Homepage Journal

      that number is really good when used two ways.

      1) To sell people on the idea of possible market places

      2) When trying to dilute negative actions by the government on a per capita basis, like how they claim to be very environmentally friendly on a per capita basis.

      I do find it humorous all the people mentioning that Bing(MS)/Yahoo will go as they have no morals, I wonder how many read about the story in angst while using products wholly or partially made in China.

      • Buying products from China benefits the poor farmers - helps them earn extra cash.

        Of course as oil shoots above $200 a barrel next decade, that market will eventually be closed to us (too far away/expensive to ship).

      • Search logs get activists killed. Censorship hurts a country. Products made in china less damaging to the people.
    • While China isn't a huge profit machine right now for them, access to 1.3B Internet users will be a big deal down the road.

      Android will probably keep Google in the Chinese market and generate targeted advertising revenue in some manner.

      • by c++0xFF (1758032)

        Except products have a way of getting duplicated in China. Knock-off hardware will appear very quickly, and at a much cheaper price. Even the software will be the same or very close.

        Even good products have a hard time competing in China.

    • by jimicus (737525)

      I think this is only posturing on Google's part. While China isn't a huge profit machine right now for them, access to 1.3B Internet users will be a big deal down the road.

      How many of those people have decent Internet access (as opposed to live as subsistence farmers in the middle of nowhere)?

      How free is the market in China? Without at least a moderately free market, there is precious little point in advertising.

      These are serious questions - my knowledge of China is approximately zero.

      • > How free is the market in China?

        The market for what? Lots of different things are sold in China. For some the market is quite free. Others are controlled by government monopolies.

    • Re:Posturing? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DarthVain (724186) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @02:48PM (#31499550)

      Emphasis on "down the road."

      1) Google makes ALL its money through Ad revenue.

      2) 1.3B Internet users does not equal 1.3B consumers

      3) For the most part China still exports most of its goods.

      Much of China is undeveloped. While many are moving to urban areas and earning a wage, many wouldn't have what we would describe as "disposable" income.

      There are a new class of people in China that can certainly afford "stuff", however that number is much much less that the total internet users (though growing).

      Google has also shown that it can break into well established markets and be successful.

      Thus I am of the opinion that Google is not in a great big hurry. If I was Google I would play hardball as well. Perhaps down the road it will give you a favorable bargaining position.

      Until Chinese start buying products at a fair market value (there is a reason why software in the USA costs 250$ and in China 13$), who exactly are you advertising to, and how can you make any money off of them? I mean if it takes 100 clicks on a link to sell one copy of software at 250$ then that service is worth X. If it takes 10,000 clicks on a link to sell one copy of software at 13$ then that service is worth Y. It is a rather simple equation. Now take a tally of all the X's and all the Y's and subtract that from what it cost to actually provide that service. If you get a negative number for Y, or a number so small in comparison to X, then basically you don't really care all that much one way or another. The only exception would be for "future considerations", basically start market penetration now (which will cost little), and in 10 years or so it might pay off. Of course if your Google, you can also leverage the fact that most of the known world uses your product, and if you keep it up, hopefully in 10 years that won't change, in which case penetrating that market down the road might not be that big a deal anyway.

      It will happen, its just many years away is all, and Google need not bend over backwards simply to enter into a market of little value now in the hopes that one day it will work out.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by binkzz (779594)
      It's not just about the market - it's also about the risks. If they stay in China, sooner or later the Chinese government will gain full access to their servers (either by hacking or by confiscation), and with it all the information they want. Plus the search algorithms.
  • by Jeng (926980) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:40AM (#31496452)

    Has a major player like Google ever completely abandoned a country before?

    It should be interesting to see what kind of effect this has on Google, I doubt there will be a major change in China over this.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:40AM (#31496456) Journal

    "I think Google thought China would be flexible," said Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group.

    My opinion is that the CEO, Eric Schmidt [google.com], differs from the young idealism of Larry Page and Sergey Brin. I do not mean that either side of this leadership is right or wrong but instead simply that they have different motivations. Brin's past has come up before [slashdot.org] as a source for this (seemingly) new found anti-censorship campaign.

    Google's leadership is conflicted. Brin & Page see the ethics of the situation most important because their motivation seems to be less devoted to money. It certainly seemed to be an exercise in indexing when they started "Google." Schmidt, however, owes his allegience to the shareholders. Or at least feels the pull and responsibility of profit more so than any sort of ethical dilemma. And that's why he was put in that position: to keep investors investing. And, honestly, this last point is why I think this 'removal' is nothing but a rumor or a bluff. Because money is one of the most important things to Google. I don't think the young idealism will stand up to stock prices ... and I think everyone involved knows it. Until you tell me that Google.cn is dead and I go to the site and confirm it, I will not believe for a second this is possible.

    Brin and Page's cashing out [slashdot.org] is really just symbolic of what's already happened at Google. Their motivations are like any other company's. Some of it is about the customer and some of it is about profit ... and that's it. Pesky ideals and ethics have no place in corporate America. Step aside. It's the safest path to churn out tons of cash. They're walking away from too much money and market to pull out of China. It would be bad for stocks and any investors would flip out ... probably even sue.

    • by Stargoat (658863) <stargoat@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:44AM (#31496544) Journal

      Could a lawsuit have merit when Google's motto is do no evil? It is clear that their presence in China was creating harm.

      On another note, I agree that google.cn will not be going anywhere. If nothing else, it would be a big FU to China to leave it as is but remove all censorship. Heck, pulling it might be construed as surrendering to censorship and therefore evil.

      • Since the Chinese government controls the .cn domain, I doubt very much that google.cn will remain operational should Google and China have a less-than-amicable parting of ways.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by khallow (566160)

        Could a lawsuit have merit when Google's motto is do no evil?

        No. And it's not clear that Google's presence was doing harm.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Idiomatick (976696)
        Clear?

        Interaction is a good thing. Google opens the world up to China much better than China based Baidu. From there Chinese people get access to a wider range of views and opinions. They have greater contact with europeans and americans so they can see more opinions. They can realize more effectively that people aren't out to get them. Even though censorship is bad nothing is clearly more censorship.

        The best solution would be for Google to poke holes in China's wall... repeatedly. Automated English ->
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by blueskies (525815)

        Your honor, it says they are supposed to no evil, but they still eat meat. Please give me all of their money.

    • What money? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:52AM (#31496702) Journal

      What money? People keep talking about China as if it is some huge source of profit for google. It is not. Google has a few side startups but its main business, advertising is NOT present in China. There are some chinese advetisers but they advertise OUTSIDE China.

      The amount of revenue is around 300 million dollar. A pathetic amount and that is revenue, not profit.

      The MBA's have long since declared China as some kind of holy grail, were the streets are made of gold and profits just happen. But it just ain't turning out that way.

      For europeans, the US of A was much the same. Oh if we can only launch our product over there, we will have it made. Forget, if you are big in Holland then a flea can squash you in the US. You are nothing. Do 10 miljoen euro's and you will be a tiny blip as a Humvee drives over you. Conquer the german market, go south to france. Not instantly across the ocean, with insane transportation costs, gap in working hours, cultural differences.

      Google did have long term plans for China, but they might be wondering that with the little result so far, it is actually worth the hassle.

      And I think China might be bluffing as well. If Google moves out, they might not loose all that much, but others could start to examine their own future in China.

      In itself, it is not unusual for a company to rethink its activities in a region.

      • Re:What money? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by DigitalSorceress (156609) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @12:15PM (#31497128)

        /THIS

        I've thought along the same lines for some time.

        Yes, China has a Billion people, but that doesn't scale the same way as a Billion US or European consumers would. There's HUGE cultural and economic gaps. This is why they're making all our cheap crap... they've got abysmal conditions for labor and can pay their workers a pittance. Sure, those conditions and that money is probably a BIG STEP UP over how many were living, but it does not equate into a billion people suddenly buying dishwashers, TVs, washers, driers, and other goods. Besides, even if it did, they're probably going to buy cheap Chinese-made crap anyway.

        I had a point in here somewhere... Oh yeah: Someone once told me that when "they" declare a gold rush, be the one selling the shovels.

        I think that there are a lot of clever people selling shovels (getting rich sending business to China or making money off businesses who think their futures are in China), and a lot of not-quite-as-clever folks mining for gold (looking to make fortunes by doing business in/with China).

        Maybe Google is starting to add up the cost of doing business there and has realized that they were on the wrong end of that equation.

        Google wins twice: 1) they stop spending money and taking (security and financial risk) on a losing proposition, and 2) they get a big public relations boost for standing on principles.

        Don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against the Chinese people... I'm just saying (as the parent post said) China is nowhere near the business-paradise that many folks seem to think it is. There are different cultural, economic, and government forces at work than in the West, and anyone who thinks they can just waltz in there is falling victim to magical thinking:

        1) Start doing business in / with China
        2) ???
        3) PROFIT!

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Schmidt, however, owes his allegience to the shareholders. Or at least feels the pull and responsibility of profit more so than any sort of ethical dilemma.

      His responsibility to his shareholders is an ethical issue. If he makes a decision that affects Google's share price, he's burning other people's money in a big fire, so the effect on the world at large has to be weighed against the effect on shareholders. Of course, if Google had stayed out of censorship in the first place, he wouldn't have to make that

    • >>>Some of it is about the customer and some of it is about profit ... and that's it. Pesky ideals and ethics have no place in corporate America.
      >>>

      Which is why I hate corporations. They take-away that human element that exists in a Proprietorship or Partnership-based company. The morality disappears and is replaced with penny-pinching.

      I saw this at my old company JCPenney. While it was run by the originator, James Cash Penney, it was run to serve the customer. Profit was secondary and

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by introspekt.i (1233118)
      Schmidt may owe his allegiance to the shareholders, but he might also be able to make the case that pulling out of China (for now) in the name of free speech will add so much value to the Google brand that it may be an opportunity not worth missing.

      Or at least feels the pull and responsibility of profit more so than any sort of ethical dilemma.

      How are you so sure?

      Pesky ideals and ethics have no place in corporate America.

      I think you're being a bit too cynical with Google. At least thus far, I think they've shown a healthy habit of finding a third way to maintain trust with consumers and build confidence in shareholders. Google isn't in an invulnerable positi

    • by Seakip18 (1106315)

      FWIW, Google stock price was down 3% since news of the pullout becoming more likely broke. It's recovered .5% since.

    • How much of this are you being serious about? It sounds like you could be serious, or not, it's hard to tell sometimes.

      People saying that it's OK to do anything in the name of money eventually end up being on the side of Enron and AIG before they realize it. Or WWII IBM.

    • by khallow (566160)

      They're walking away from too much money and market to pull out of China.

      That's not given. In addition to the meager revenue that Google actual gets in China, you have to take into account government sponsored IP theft. Sounds to me that Google needs to worry about losing its IP to Chinese competitors.

  • Enderle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thelexx (237096) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:46AM (#31496576)

    > 'I think Google thought China would be flexible,' said Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group.

    And I think you're an idiot Robert. If there is one word NO ONE in the West would use to describe the Chinese government, it is 'flexible'.

    • Re:Enderle (Score:4, Insightful)

      by GPLDAN (732269) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:50AM (#31496668)
      PLEASE stop using Rob Enderle as a source for analysis. Time and time again this guy has managed to be wrong, yet people STILL go to him for quotes on anything related to technology.
      • by Wingsy (761354)
        Agree 110%. I stopped reading the article as soon as I saw his name, knowing that anything I read from anyone who quotes him is garbage.

        But I did read a few /. comments. :)
    • I don't think Chinese leadership is inflexible by western standards. Rather, I think they're completely pragmatic and utilitarian. If Google were to make it worth their while, they'd probably be willing to negotiate, however, I don't think Google's willing to go as far as that takes. "Flexible" is a relative term.
  • Trade secrets (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nimey (114278) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:48AM (#31496628) Homepage Journal

    Maybe former Google.cn employees will find themselves pressured into giving away Google's trade secrets to the Chinese government.

  • Subsidiary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:49AM (#31496638)
    Yeah Google may pull out of China, but there's no way in hell they'll just turn away over a BILLION customers (or advertisers' customers).

    They'll just open a subsidiary in China and operate within the law.

    There: do no evil under your own brand name.
    • > They'll just open a subsidiary in China and operate within the law.

      They did. It was called Google.cn.

    • by compro01 (777531)

      I somewhat doubt it. As big as it is over here, Google is merely an also-ran in the Chinese search engine market, which is dominated by local companies, largest being Baidu reportedly holding 60%+ of the market by itself.

      Figures I've see thrown around put the revenue for Google's Chinese operations at about $300 million/year, which is slightly more than 1% of Google's total revenue. Given the amount of hassle they've been having, I'm sure they've been strongly questioning whether that money is worth it.

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:49AM (#31496640) Homepage Journal

    Will Google stop buying stuff from China.
    The Nexus 1 is made by HTC probably in China.
    The iPhone and most of Apples products are made in China so no Google isn't alone.
    We as a nation need to stop sending our money to China. How about it Google. Take that big monster pile of cash and build some factories in the US.
    Start making phones and motherboards in the US again. Would you pay $10 more for a Google Motherboard built in Iowa or Idaho over an Asus built in China if it was the same quality?
    Think of it Google you could pay workers in the US that would then spend that money in the US and buy stuff made in the US "hopefully"
    How about not just trying to not be evil but trying to be good?

    On a more cynical note. Google isn't making a lot of money in China, odds are the Chinese search engine is benefiting from stolen Google tech will get government support, and they could leverage that tech to start going head to head with Google in world markets.
    So they have nothing really to loose by bailing out of China.

    • by jimicus (737525)

      Start making phones and motherboards in the US again. Would you pay $10 more for a Google Motherboard built in Iowa or Idaho over an Asus built in China if it was the same quality?

      The mass migration of manufacturing to China would suggest that - as far as the market as a whole is concerned - the answer to that question is "no".

      Next question?

    • Would you pay $10 more for a Google Motherboard built in Iowa or Idaho over an Asus built in China if it was the same quality?

      Personally, I would. I already try to buy products made anywhere but in China - especially anything food or health related - but when it comes to electronics there really isn't a whole lot of choice.

      For desktops and laptops, there IS the option of Union Built PC [unionbuiltpc.com] but the machines are only assembled, not actually made, in North America. I have no idea what the quality is like either.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by iserlohn (49556)

      The Nexus One is built by HTC in Taiwan. The components are sourced from around the world though (eg. screen is from Samsung/SK).

  • It's also good news for Microhoo. Google, as a publicly traded company, only has the obligation to make a profit for shareholders regardless of their "Do no evil" hooey which, let's face it, once you're publicly traded becomes more of a guideline than a rule. Really, Google wants to increase their market share just like anyone else.

    I seriously doubt that they will pull out of China and are just sabre rattling although sabre rattling with the Chinese government is a losing proposition. Microhoo and Baidu s
    • by jimicus (737525) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @12:03PM (#31496904)

      Look at this another way:

      Possible Motivation for An Organised Attempt to Hack Google:

      • Gain access to Google's user data. Not good - that data is far and away the biggest thing Google sell.
      • Gain insight into Google's technology. Even worse - their technology is what keeps their users coming back, and prevents the user data above from becoming stale.
      • Willy waving. Embarrassing for Google, particularly if it leads to either of the above being compromised.

      Sooner or later, the cost of dealing with this kind of espionage will outweigh the benefit of doing business in China. Looks like Google reckon that time has already come.

  • Chinese Gov: you have to censor, it is the law.
    Google: ok we follow the law, you dont interfere with our operation
    Chinese Gov: ok.
    Google: Somebody hacked us
    Chinese police: we dont know what you are talking about and we dont investigate
    Google: that is not nice, we know its something semi-official
    Chinese Gov: maybe, we dont know nothing

    No, seriously. If you cant rely that the police will investigate some crime which endangers your operation, you leave a country. Even if the guy who hacked hacked for a private

  • The lie underneath all of this is that China is claiming that Google will be denying website access to all Chinese in the People's Republic of China.

    Last I checked, Google was available to anyone. If China doesn't let its people use Google, that's their decision.

  • Google Scholar (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @01:26PM (#31498246)

    In theory, this is why China should care about Google:

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/02/china-scientists-google/ [wired.com]

  • by Hasai (131313) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @01:29PM (#31498312)

    The problem with being a totalitarian regime is that you can never, ever, let-up on that boot you have grinding-down upon the necks of the people, even if you want to.
    Because the moment you do let-up, the people will stand up, and the next thing you know, you're hanging from a lamp post by a meat hook.

  • Enderle Group (Score:3, Informative)

    by lordshipmayhem (1063660) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @02:32PM (#31499318)
    "Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group"

    No, Rob Enderle is the Enderle Group.

    Based on Rob's reporting history with companies like the SCO Group, Novell, IBM and Microsoft, I've long ago concluded he inhabits his own little fictional world.

    This report is quoting quite heavily from Rob the Delusional. If he says Google is going, they're probably staying.

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