Realism lies behind Google’s decision to quit China

It might seem like commercial madness for one of the world’s best-known consumer brands willingly to risk ejection from the most populous country.Yet Google’s decision to confront Chinese authorities over censorship reflects a realistic view about its limited business prospects in the country in the short-term, and could have spin-off benefits elsewhere in the world, according to analysts and other observers.But the longer-term consequences could be less palatable.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/f11d5688-36d2-11df-bc0f-00144feabdc0.htmlAlso see:China’s Booming Internet Giants May Be Stuck There
Even before Google began threatening to shut down its search service in China, it was not fitting in.Google and other major American Internet companies like Yahoo and eBay failed to gain significant traction in the Chinese market. And Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are blocked by the government.Instead, the hottest companies in the world’s biggest Internet market have names like Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba — fast-growing local firms that are making huge profits. Post-Google, China’s Internet market could increasingly resemble a lucrative, walled-off bazaar, experts say. Those homegrown successes, however, could have trouble becoming global brands.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/business/global/24internet.htmlStance by China to Limit Google Is Risk by Beijing
This is a nation that builds dams, high-speed rail lines and skyscrapers with abandon. In newly muscular China, sheer force is not just an art, but a bedrock principle of its seemingly unstoppable rise to global prominence.Now China has tightened its grip on the much more variegated world of online information, effectively forcing Google Inc., the world’s premier information provider, to choose between submitting to Chinese censorship and leaving the world’s largest community of Internet users to its rivals. It chose to leave.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/world/asia/24china.htmlChina puts new limits on Google search results
Chinese access to Google’s search engine grew more restricted, with some sensitive searches blocked altogether, Tuesday as fallout from its decision to redirect mainland users to its uncensored Hong Kong website threatened to undermine the Internet giant’s ability to cling to its hard-won Chinese market share.The move was already reverberating across the Pacific. Google said Tuesday that it would delay rolling out in China mobile applications that run on Android phones after its Chinese partners came under government pressure to pull out of deals with Google.
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-china-google24-2010mar24,0,5879877.storyGoogle syndication deals mean China censorship will continue
Google’s operations and long-term prospects in China were shrouded in confusion , as it emerged that it is still censoring search services for its partners because of contractual obligations.The world’s leading search engine hoped to resolve two months of uncertainty with Monday’s announcement that it had closed its mainland search service and shifted its Chinese-language facility to Hong Kong.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/mar/24/google-china-syndication-censorship-continuesGoogle’s decision signals change in Western businesses’ approach to China
The showdown between Google and the world’s most populous country marks a turning point in one of the great alliances of the late 20th century — the bond between Western capitalists and Beijing’s authoritarian system.After Google’s audacious decision to confront China over the issue of censorship, officials here insisted Tuesday that the Internet giant’s case was an isolated one and would not affect China’s opening to the West or its market-oriented reforms.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/23/AR2010032302487.htmlEditorial: Google and China
Google’s decision to stop censoring its search service in China on Monday was a principled and brave move, a belated acknowledgment that Internet companies cannot enable a government’s censorship without becoming a de facto accomplice to repression.We hope that other American companies with operations in China, notably Microsoft and Yahoo, will consider emulating Google’s decision.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/opinion/24wed2.html

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