As it turns out, Google
apparently wasn't bluffing when the company claimed it would close shop in China
following complaints of censorship and a string of cyber-attacks. According to a report in a Beijing-based newspaper, the search giant will do exactly that.
"I have received information saying that Google will leave China on April 10, but this information has not at present been confirmed by Google,
" the China Business News quoted an agent as saying.
The decision, if true, couldn't have come easily for Google, which holds a significant share in China's search market. But the Chinese government's insistence that Google censor its search results, along with a handful of cyber-attacks on high-level U.S. sites Google says originated from China, the search company may have finally had enough.
"Nobody really knows about the timing because this is speculation by a couple of media outlets, but it does seem inevitable that they will pull out with their specially censored Chinese search engine because Google has announced that they're not censoring it anymroe and the government here has announced that they cannot acccept an uncensored search engined,
" said Jim McGregor
, a longtime China business analyst who is with public relations firm APCO Worldwide.
Far from a cut and dry decision, several of Google's Chinese ad partners recently sent a letter to the search company claiming they have waited in "profound pain
" for any indication on whether or not Google plans to pull out, and how they would be compensated if Google did decide to leave.
"We understand that Google has its own values, but what we can't understand is why, up to today, Google has not had any communication or talks about future solutions with us at all,
" the letter said
It looks like those "future solutions
" will be revealed sooner than later. According to a recent report in the Financial Times, Google is "99.9 percent" certain it will close down google.cn.