Google Stops Censoring in China

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In a very surprising turnaround indeed, it seems that Google has apparently decided it’s time to stick it to the man and has announced that it will no longer be censoring content in China.

Indeed, according to Google’s own blog on the subject indicates that the company is very much aware of the fact that it could be forced out of the Chinese market by such a decision, but has proceeded regardless. Indeed, according to the blog post from Google’s senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer, Dave Drummond, it seems that the folks at Google are not only well aware of that potential outcome, but don’t seem too scared of it. Drummond also takes time to talk about what precipitated the move.

According to Google, attacks were launched from China against both it and a raft of other companies, with the blog post saying that,

“First, this attack was not just on Google. As part of our investigation we have discovered that at least twenty other large media companies from a wide range of businesses – including the internet, finance, technology, media and chemical sectors – have been similarly targeted. We are currently in the process of notifying those companies, and we are also working with the relevant U.S. authorities.”

The post goes on to say that, “These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered – combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web – have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China.”

It’s certainly some very interesting stuff, and we’ll be curious to see just how it pans out for Google, but it’s well worth noting at this stage that Google isn’t the same massive player in the Chinese search market that it is over here. Google’s Chinese effort only manages to pull in somewhere around 20-30% of the market, which doesn’t compare too favourably with the lion’s share that it has here, but it’s still significant.

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