Looks like Google is leaving China...

Looks like Google is leaving China...

Summary: Google has painted itself into a corner with its promise to stop censoring its search in China...

TOPICS: Google, China

Larry Dignan reports: China to Google: Censor or 'pay the consequences' | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com

According to a bevy of reports, Li Yizhong, the minister of Industry and Information Technology, said Google has to obey China’s laws—and that means censoring search results.

The Associated Press has the money quote:
“If you want to do something that disobeys Chinese law and regulations, you are unfriendly, you are irresponsible and you will have to pay the consequences.”

Looks like there is no room for negotiation here.

Yet Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, earlier this week was reported by Jerry Dicolo at the Wall Street Journal, saying, "We are in active negotiations with the Chinese government." He added that "something will happen soon."

What are they negotiating over? The Chinese position is crystal clear: we're not budging.

It looks as if Google has painted itself into a corner in China. By saying it will stop censoring its results and that it may have to leave China, it has left itself with no options. Negotiations with the Chinese government have produced no compromise from the authorities.

It's interesting to speculate what those negotiations could have been about. What could Google offer in return for being allowed to stay in China but not censor its search results? What have they been talking about for two months?

The Chinese authorities are far more skillful in these types of situations than Google's leadership.

Will Google still maintain research, and sales operations in China, but withdraw its search service? What about its other products such as GMail, etc? Will Google's spiderbots still index Chinese web sites?

Leaving the world's largest and fastest growing Internet market is a serious blow for Google, especially if it turns out that the hacker attack was not of Chinese origin.

I can't see how Google can get out of its promise to stop censoring results and still stay in China. It would be a huge loss of face.

Topics: Google, China

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  • A big win, for...

    ...El Presidente Hu and his capitalist running dog tool lackey, Steve Job. Next, they both have their sights on Taiwan.
    Feldwebel Wolfenstool
    • Don't let the door hit your butt, Google

      Good riddance.
      • Looks like Google is leaving China...

        "Don't let the door hit your butt, Google Good riddance"

        Google doesn't have a butt...lol stupid people.
  • Will Google cave?

    "It would be a huge loss of face."

    I suspect that Google would rather lose face than large quantities of money.

    I suspect that they will cave, while trying to pretend that they didn't cave. Not an easy PR task.
  • business vs human rights

    "Leaving the world?s largest and fastest growing Internet
    market is a serious blow for Google"

    Well, do we put "it's good for business" first, or do we
    put human rights first?
  • RE: Looks like Google is leaving China...

    I'll jump over a cliff if the USA government was not behind this whole Google-China fiasco. It wasn't about human rights, nor about hacking (can Google stop hacks if they left China?!). It's all about keeping China off-kilter, distract it with whatever false-grievances we have against them. Add Google to the list of: Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwan, human rights, currency. It's no different.
    • Ah yes, ye old red herrings.

      Ah yes, ye old red herrings.

      You have some doubts about the motives of the
      US government, therefore everything else
      connected to the USA and China must be because
      of the US government.

      Sorry, doesn't really work that way. There's
      lots of people making lots of choices based on
      lots of various factors. Even the US government
      is a pretty big entity with a lot of "the right
      hand not knowing what the left hand is doing"
      in it.

      Wish things were as simple as the motives of a
      small number of people, but they rarely are
      that simple.

      If things were that simple - we could just kick
      the people with the bad motives and replace
      them with people with better motives. But,
      alas, it just isn't that simple.
      • you and I know

        This is not about censorship. Google regularly censors inside the USA due to DMCA and Patriot Act. You and I know this is not about China hacking, because Google moving out of China will not do a thing to prevent that from happening. This is about money (badly masqueraded PR) for Google, and keeping the Chinese off-kilter for the US government. I can guarantee you Google had a nod from the Obama administration before their big announcement. It's all carefully orchestrated.

        The only thing to do is look back in history and see the deceptions committed by the US government. The Spanish American War; the Gulf of Tonkin incident; how CIA funded and trained Tibetan aristocrats to "peacefully" up rise again the Chinese in 1959 (CIA called it the nuisance and open sores project); and most recently, the State Department demanding Twitter to stay open during a scheduled downtime so that US-paid cronies can continue to stream anti-Iran propaganda.

        Please also tell me how coincidental it is for Clinton to meet with tech-head (Google included) a week before Google made their announcement about "promoting" "Internet freedom." And how coincidental it is for the Obama administration to jump into the fray and elevating it to a WTO matter.
        • People hell-bent on finding conspiracies

          allways manage to find them.
          John Zern
          • people who have nothing useful to say

            always attack the messenger, not the facts.
          • Unless of course the messenger himself

            relays his interpertation of the facts, and not those actuall facts themselves?
          • Not consipiracy. Seeing through the smoke screen.

            The previous poster simply interpreted the words and actions of Google, US and China governments in the way that makes perfect sense.

            The facts are:

            All large Internet companies are "attacked" in some way or another all the time. Few, if any, whine about it and escalate that into political issues.

            Google so far made no formal complaints to Chinese government about the alleged "attack".

            If Google "withdraws" from China, it's not like people there wouldn't be still able to use their services if they want. It's all on-line - they don't sell lemonade in China. The service, wherever it comes from, will be subject to the same censorship that exists now. This withdrawal with will also do nothing to stop any attacks. The only party that is going to suffer from this is Google itself.

            Everything else is smoke and mirrors.

            You have to be very naive to trust every statement made by politicians and huge corporations. The problem is, mature governments and corporations are highly skilled in this sort of thing. Google isn't yet, but they are getting better.
  • RE: Looks like Google is leaving China...

    What would El Presidente Hu have his sights on Taiwan? Taiwan is a province of China. Last time I checked the Taiwan constitution, it also said Taiwan was part of China.
    • Taiwan considers itself independent of China.

      It has not declared independence - but they do not
      take orders from Hu. They have their own
      president and government. And the US is bound, by
      law, to defend Taiwan from China in case of
      • logic fail

        How does Taiwan consider itself independent if it's own constitution says it's a province of China? And why would China ever attack it's own province?
    • I guess all those Block A Sixteens and...

      ....and cruise missiles are aimed at their own Taiwanses citizens?
      Feldwebel Wolfenstool
  • RE: Looks like Google is leaving China...

    Good for Google! China needs to learn how to live with the rest of the world. If Google can take a stand for that, more power to them!
  • RE: Looks like Google is leaving China...

    Check out what happens when Google corrects more than


  • RE: Looks like Google is leaving China...

    Google pulling out of China doesn't mean a hill of beans to China's government. And I seriously doubt it's going to help Google's bottom line by making them look like a caring loving company. It's going to make them look like a bunch of idiots for not planning this whole thing a little better.
  • Ethics and losing $$$ because you have ethics...

    ....doesn't cut it anymore In Capitalist Amerika.
    Feldwebel Wolfenstool