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Google Likely To Pull Out Of China Completely

We usually just report on startups, but today saw an announcement by Google that they are no longer censoring the Chinese version of Google. This comes after much debate as to the ethics of self censorship and whether it was right for Google to make money in a market where they are forced to censor politically sensitive material. It seems like the final straw was the discovery that the Chinese government have had a hand in hacking into Gmail accounts used by human rights activists.

The timing is very interesting, a cynic might suggest that the Chinese authorities staged the recent attack on Baidu yesterday to distract from their attacks on Gmail. Or to allow them to shift blame onto someone else perhaps. It certainly seems unlikely that the “Iranian Cyber Army” would attack a Chinese company over an American or even British one, as China is not routinely used as a scapegoat in Iran, as the USA and UK are.

In any case it’s a sad day for those who believe that companies like Google and cross border business might be allowed to foster freedom of speech and political freedom in repressive countries like China. Google’s share price is likely to take a dip (it already has), taking a stance against this kind of thing is also likely to cost them at least $1billion in 2010, as well as many tens (hundreds?) of billions of dollars of future revenue by counting themselves out of the world’s most populous country.

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Google Likely To Pull Out Of China Completely
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