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Google preps China exit

According to the Financial Times, Google is 99.9 percent sure it will close Google.cn. The writing was on the wall on Friday when the Chinese government said that Google has to follow local laws or face the consequences.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Google is reportedly set to close its Chinese search engine.

According to the Financial Times, Google is 99.9 percent sure it will close Google.cn. The writing was on the wall on Friday when the Chinese government said that Google has to follow local laws or face the consequences.

The FT portrayed a situation where both China and Google had hardened their positions. The news isn't all that surprising. China wasn't going to cave to Google or it would open a Pandora's Box where other Web companies would stop censoring results. And Google boxed itself in with its stance two months ago.

In January, Google said that it was attacked from within China. From there, Google said that it would stop censoring its search results and has stuck to that position.

Oliver Marks: Baidu: Check out anytime you like, but you can never leave...

What remains to be seen is how quickly Google can unwind its China operations. The FT reports:

While a decision could be made very soon, the company is likely to take some time to follow through with the plan as it seeks an orderly closure and takes steps to protect local employees from retaliation by the authorities, the person familiar with its position said.

More: Assessing Google’s showdown with China

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