Google.cn.R.I.P?

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Update 22/03/10:

– Google News… RT @rmack: RT @mranti: RT @LEMONed: breaking: g.cn gets redirected to google.com.hk!!

– RT @niubi: Official Google Blog: A new approach to China: an update http://bit.ly/9fJhW7
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We have already given some coverage to the Google China story, and will continue to as it is a) educational and b) entertaining. In our previous post “Google.cn: Searching for Solutions” we noted that it was creating political as well as commercial waves.

Now the closure of the Google China site (according to an FT report) seems to be “99.9%” certain:

• “99.9%” certain (& certainly confused strategy) RT @allroads: RT @ftchina: Google to shut China search engine http://bit.ly/8YNuKr 10:33 AM Mar 13th

Business Insider reported on what the Chinese government (or at least a part of it) had to say:

• Ouch! RT @fonstuinstra: RT @rmack: RT @alleyinsider: China Tells Google To Go To Hell, Again $GOOG by @jwyarow http://bit.ly/8ZuMCO 5:11 PM Mar 12th

“WSJ: At a press conference Friday, Li Yizhong, Minister of Industry and Information Technology, was asked by a reporter how China would react if Google does stop censoring Google.cn. “I hope Google can respect Chinese rules and regulations,” responded Mr. Li, whose ministry is one of several that regulates China’s Internet. “If you insist on taking this action that violates Chinese laws, I repeat: you are unfriendly and irresponsible, and you yourself will have to bear the consequences.”

Kaiser Kuo, who knows about these things, covered the situation at SXSW. We were not there, but Ray Kwong pointed us to a nice summary on ReadWriteWeb:

• Thanks! RT @raykwong: What Google Will Do in China (SXSW Presentation) http://twurl.nl/mzx7jz @kaiserkuo at #SXSW 11:03 AM Mar 13th

“Kuo said that the Chinese government will wait for Google to make the next move. It realises it has nothing to gain by pushing Google or being openly hostile. The ball is in Google’s court and it will probably keep to its word that it will stop censorship in China. It may still shut down operations in China, which in practice means closing google.cn. But this has a lot of problematic scenarios – including the difficulty of having translations done for Google.com and staffing issues of closing down.

The pros of pulling out of China include saving face and appeasing western users. But the cons are significant. They include a backlash from tech-savvy, urban Google users, a setback to scientific research, a global black eye for their image, and ceding the virtual monopoly in search in China to Baidu…”

Of course, not all the commentary is so well informed, as Stan Abrams and Kai Pan point out (forcefully, and entertainingly) on the China Divide blog:

• Gosh. RT @chinahearsay: RT @chinadivide: Google’s China Exit: Nicole Kempton, Are You Serious? http://tinyurl.com/yd843a4 11:08 PM Mar 16th

• Oh my! RT @chinahearsay: My latest @chinadivide: Google Does Evil: the Rise of Brain-Damaged Pundits

We suspect there will be more warring words to report soon. And that more companies will take more time to consider their commitment to, and risks of, doing business in China before entering the market (only to exit it again).

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Other related news..

• The plot thickens RT @fonstuinstra: Letter From Chinese Ad Sellers to Google Appears Fake – NYTimes.com http://ow.ly/1nr2a

• It rumbles on… RT @niubi: @DanHarris @sinotechian wsj quotes 1 of the signers as saying leter legit http://bit.ly/96OLoZ

• Searching contradictions RT @digitasia: Google appears to drop censorship in China” http://bit.ly/bMDEnC

• RT @peterschloss Twitter founder…re China’s firewall shades of Murdoch’s 93 speech re Sat TV http://bit.ly/anVg7q http://to.pbs.org/98nj8q

• Ca-ching for Bing? RT @NiuB: Google Exit Would Open a Door for Microsoft: http://bit.ly/cBbxg5 googlecn

2 Responses to “Google.cn.R.I.P?”

  1. Archive » Google, Rio Tinto & The China Business Environment| China Business Blog Says:

    […] stories – Google’s exit, and Rio Tinto’s trial – have dominated the China business news over the past week(s). […]

  2. Archive » Briefly…Top Ten Tweets (From RMB Manipulation, Protectionism & Princelings, To ODI, FCPA & Autos)| China Business Blog Says:

    […] Comment: A great analysis. More on the Google story is here. […]

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