Google May Close Virtual Doors in China
Posted on Mar 13, 2010
Google is “99.9 percent” certain it will shut down its search engine operation in China after the government in Beijing warned the company that it was flouting the country’s censorship laws, which require limited access to content like “Tiananmen Square” and “democracy.”
Google’s decision would close a chapter in a long battle between China and the U.S. regarding censorship and the Internet. Google is the world’s leading search engine, but holds only about a 40 percent market share in China, behind leader Baidu. —JCL
Talks with China over censorship have reached an apparent impasse and Google, the world’s largest search engine, is now “99.9 percent” certain to shut its Chinese search engine, the Financial Times said on Saturday.
It said in a report on its website Google had drawn up detailed plans for closing its Chinese search engine.
The newspaper cited a person familiar with the company’s thinking as saying that, while a decision could be made very soon, Google was likely to take some time to follow through with its plans.
That would be in order to bring about an orderly closure as the company takes steps to protect local employees from retaliation by authorities, it said.
China warned Google on Friday against flouting the country’s laws, as expectations grow for a resolution to a public battle over censorship and cyber-security.
AP / Jae C. Hong