Chinese agencies cry foul over Google

Group of 27 Chinese advertising agencies have written to Google, seeking compensation if search giant makes good on threat to shut its operations in China.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

Anticipating Google's pullout from China, a group of 27 Chinese advertising agencies have written to the search giant seeking compensation.

According to an AFP report, the agencies, which are resellers of Google's online ads, are complaining that the company has not kept them updated on its future plans in China and has yet to hold any consultation with them since it threatened in January to terminate Google.cn and exit the country.

Due to the lack of information, the agencies are waiting in "unbearable agony and anxiety" on the possible business losses, the letter said.

It also read: "Many of us would face bankruptcy and close down because we have invested enormous funds and efforts to meet Google's requirements.

"Google should bear full responsibility if tens of thousands of employees cause any problems for China's economic and political stability."

Google and one of the agencies have confirmed the letter was sent, said the report.

The search giant earlier this week said it was "99.9 percent" sure it would close its Chinese search engine, Google.cn.

The U.S company made its first threat to pack its bags in January, a move triggered by an alleged hacking attack against its network that it said originated from China and that had targeted human rights activists. Google also expressed a desire to maintain an uncensored search engine, although the Chinese government has stood firm on its laws on censorship.

Unlike the company's success in other parts of the world, Google trails Chinese incumbent search engine Baidu, by a significant margin in the country. According to comScore statistics as at January 2010, Google's share of the Chinese search market was 14.1 percent, while Baidu's was 62.2 percent.

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