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Google Readying To Pull Out of China

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the rumor-and-speculation dept.

Communications 343

Sagelinka writes "Both Google and the Chinese government appear to be leaking word that the search firm may soon shutter its operations there as negotiations between the two break down. Google first threatened to halt its operations in China after disclosing in January that an attack on its network from inside China was aimed at exposing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. At the time, Google also said it was reconsidering its willingness to censor search results of users in China as required by the government. 'I think Google thought China would be flexible,' said Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group. Google has since been negotiating with the Chinese government to find a way to continue operating in the country. Google did not respond today to requests for comment on the state of the negotiations with China."

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Never should have been there (4, Insightful)

SputnikPanic (927985) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496396)

Good. Google should never have made that devil's bargain in the first place.

Re:Never should have been there (3)

c++0xFF (1758032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496534)

It seems to me that they were looking for an excuse to leave, and the hacking provided exactly that.

Re:Never should have been there (3, Interesting)

lyinhart (1352173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496820)

It seems to me that they were looking for an excuse to leave, and the hacking provided exactly that.

Don't know about that. China's got millions and millions of potential Google users in a fast developing market. Google probably wanted to be there and wanted to stay, but not on the (probably unfair) terms of Chinese government.

Re:Never should have been there (1)

Sagelinka (1427313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496878)

Agreed. China just wants to control everything because there nation is developing faster then they anticipated. Google sees this and wants to help. In a google way of course.

Re:Never should have been there (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497058)

It seems to me that they were looking for an excuse to leave

Apart from their "Do No Evil" motto, is there any particular reference you have for that assumption?

Re:Never should have been there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31496560)

Good for them. We have already blocked all IPs from China on our network. Nothing in and nothing out the them commies.

Re:Never should have been there (1)

Sagelinka (1427313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496722)

In some ways I agree but the attacks non the less are ruining any peace between Google and China. China could have went about it in a different manner.

Re:Never should have been there (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497028)

I thought this was an excalibur joke about pulling out of China?

Re:Never should have been there (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497064)

I think it's a good move for Google. China seems like it's a pain in the ass for them. They might as well sit it out for now, and if things change in China, they can always jump back in.

I'm sure Bing will take their place (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496402)

After all, Microsoft never signed a 'do no evil' clause.

Re:I'm sure Bing will take their place (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31496440)

In fact, such a clause would run entirely counter to their whole operation.

Re:I'm sure Bing will take their place (1, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496582)

You read my mind. "Do no evil" is a good mantra for Google, but it also means they will lose business in China, and somebody else will gain a virtually monopoly as the "default" search engine - namely Microsoft. So come 2020 we'll have a divided world where Google is the #1 search engine in America/Europe and MS Bing will be #1 in China and its protectorates.

It's like reading a prequel to Firefly.

IMHO Google would be better off to enter the Chinese market and gain dominance, and then *gradually* bring more freedoms to the Chinese citizens, by using their economic muscle to buyoff Chinese citizens. If China won't allow Gmail to be private, then put a big banner on every page: "Your government is watching everything you type," rather than completely withdraw from this 1,100 million person market..

Re:I'm sure Bing will take their place (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496626)

Correction: "...by using their economic muscle to buyoff Chinese [politicians] in the government..."

The last thing we need is a Microsoft-Chinese government collusion. Two monopolies acting as one..... it's like a Bill Gates' wet dream.

Re:I'm sure Bing will take their place (1)

rvw (755107) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496732)

Two monopolies acting as one..... it's like a Bill Gates' wet dream.

Except that compared to China Microsoft is just a small kid, so does that mean Billy is wetting his bed?

Re:I'm sure Bing will take their place (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497026)

Actually, the comparison I'm thinking of is Spike (or Alfie, depends on the cartoon) and Chester [wikipedia.org] .

I wonder who gets to play the role of Sylvester the Cat in this situation?

Re:I'm sure Bing will take their place (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31496672)

Pretty sure Baidu's 60+% market share is going to hold in China...

Re:I'm sure Bing will take their place (4, Interesting)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496700)

Someone else is already a virtual monopoly in China. Baidu is by far and away the most popular search engine in China and even Google is essentially an also ran, while Bing and Yahoo are barely above the level of being statistical noise.

Re:I'm sure Bing will take their place (-1, Flamebait)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496962)

Google has almost the same market share in China as Baidu. The meme that google is running since they have no shot in hell in china is convenient but wrong.

Re:I'm sure Bing will take their place (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497050)

Yeah right. Google's market share in China is ~35%, while Baidu's is ~64%. The rest, including Bing, have like 0.10% each.

Re:I'm sure Bing will take their place (1)

c (8461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496796)

> ... and somebody else will gain a virtually monopoly as
> the "default" search engine - namely Microsoft.

I agree with the "somebody else" part, but if you think the chinese gateway to the Internet (which is what a search engine is these days) is going to be any company not directly under the thumb of the chinese government...

Baidu, sure. Bing, no.

c.

Re:I'm sure Bing will take their place (0)

c++0xFF (1758032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496872)

"Do no evil" is a good mantra for Google, but it also means they will lose business in China, and somebody else will gain a virtually monopoly as the "default" search engine - namely Microsoft

A doctor pledges to "do no harm."

Hypothetical situation: a patient asks for a dangerous treatment. The doctor has to chose between providing this treatment himself or letting the patient go to a second-rate doctor. In the first case, he might be harming the patient, but more harm might be done by letting him go.

Google has a similar situation: either provide the censored results or let someone else do it. Either way the Chinese are harmed ... but maybe it's better for Google to do the harm and fight for better protections as time goes on.

Re:I'm sure Bing will take their place (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497098)

But, by doing said harm in China, Google harms their own reputation elsewhere. So maybe it's best for them to refuse to deal with China.

Re:I'm sure Bing will take their place (1)

iserlohn (49556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497066)

Baidu is the market leader with ~60% marketshare. Bing has only ~6% of the market, mostly through Yahoo.

Re:I'm sure Bing will take their place (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497084)

The current top search engine is Baidu. Google's market share of search business in China is less than 30%.

Re:I'm sure Bing will take their place (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496704)

I'm pretty sure that "do no evil" slogan isn't legally binding...

Re:I'm sure Bing will take their place (1)

RMS Eats Toejam (1693864) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496790)

Nor has any other company. What exactly is your point? Yahoo China is still up and running. They are currently complying with Chinese law. Are they evil too?

Re:I'm sure Bing will take their place (1)

Iyonesco (1482555) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496988)

There's a reason BIDU hit $630 yesterday having only been $100 a year ago and it's not because Bing will be taking Google's place.

I can't see Google withdrawing because they'd be handing what will be the world's biggest market over to a competitor. The free speech situation would also become worse with BIDU as the main search engine since they'll be far more inclined to do exactly what the government tells them.

It makes no sense financially or socially so Google would have to be completely stupid to pull out.

I think Rob though Google thought... (0, Offtopic)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496408)

Jesus Breakdancing Christ, it's bad enough when Legacy Media gives time to Rob "All your code base are belong to SCO" Enderle, but what possible purpose is there to mention him on Slashdot, other than to troll us?

Yahoo/Microsoft (2, Insightful)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496410)

and I'm sure Microsoft and Yahoo will be more than willing to fill in any gaps...

Re:Yahoo/Microsoft (-1, Troll)

orsty3001 (1377575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496518)

That's what she said.

Re:Yahoo/Microsoft (2, Informative)

RMS Eats Toejam (1693864) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496898)

Yahoo China has been in operation this whole time. Business as usual for them, filtering and all. But, please, continue with your oh-so-cool snide remarks. Informative and entertaining.

Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31496412)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

Re:Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31496618)

Fuck yeah! I love niggers!

China (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31496414)

Frankly, I'm suprised Chinese officials didn't have any Google employees executed over this.

Re:China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31496974)

Frankly, I'm suprised Chinese officials didn't have any Google employees executed over this.

Oh, there's still plenty of time for that.

What is the price of tea in China? (0, Redundant)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496416)

Who cares about China. Seriously. What happens there with Google affects most of us absolutely not at all.

Now, what is happening with censorship in Australia? What direction is the censorship, privacy, and IP situation in the UK going? How much more religious absolutism can the U.S. take before we head down that road too?

These are topics much closer to home with a much greater impact on us.

What a bunch of Google execs will do with a handful of employees in China... not so much.

Re:What is the price of tea in China? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31496550)

Who cares about China. Seriously.

1.3 billion people.

Re:What is the price of tea in China? (3, Insightful)

c++0xFF (1758032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496652)

So, 20% of the world's population doesn't affect the other 80%?

You're right that other places have a tighter cultural connection, but you can only ignore an elephant in the room for so long. Google may only be a mouse, but that's enough to make the elephant pretty mad.

Re:What is the price of tea in China? (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496776)

Yeah, but those 20% ain't making the kind of progress you would expect to keep interacting with them.

I don't care if the elephant has lasers and homing missles strapped to its back... if the elephant keeps farting in the room when its inappropriate, eventually you won't want it in the room.

Its not like google didn't attempt a rational conversation about responsibility and propriety. They did. The chinese said they won't...

Re:What is the price of tea in China? (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496946)

Thanks, now i'll have the image of a flatulent, heavily armored elephant with me the rest of the day.

I don't know about you... (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497080)

But that's an image I cheerfully look forward to pondering on for the rest of my day.

Let me be the first to welcome our flatulent, heavily armored, ozone destroying elephant overlords!

Re:What is the price of tea in China? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496716)

Who cares about China. Seriously.

I'll bite. I care about China. I care about that one sixth of the world's population developing and coming out of poverty. To a lesser extent, I care about them becoming a serious player in the world market. Right now they play with their money and disrespect their work force beyond belief. It might not make you feel bad to pick up some piece of electronics at Walmart for $20 but I do feel bad when I see "Made in China" and have to think about the health problems the workers might develop ... the environmental damage the plant might create ... the plant's drinking water problems from the lead ... the list goes on. In order to solve these problems, people have to be unafraid to speak up. People need a method for improving these conditions -- however slowly it might come. They don't have that. Removing government censorship mandates is one step toward that. Yeah it's a slow process and it might not seem like much to you but it is to me.

These are topics much closer to home with a much greater impact on us.

I've tried to shake the "East Versus West" mentality as much as possible, it's sad to see it lingers on in some form. All countries are members of the world. Just because one country speaks the same language you do and has the same form of government you do shouldn't make it anymore or less important to you than another country with differences. China's population might even make it more important than Australia to me. You seem to have some very strange misconceptions about allegiances to countries that are disconnected from you. They hold no domain over you whether they're Australia or China. I certainly expect more of my representatives than to say "it's written into law in Australia, it should be in our law here." This "because everyone else is doing it" does not suffice as an argument where I live. Look at the Scandinavian nations that have taken different routes on copyright. It's okay to have different laws in different countries.

What a bunch of Google execs will do with a handful of employees in China... not so much.

I would wager that the precedent this public display sets will have far more implications for you (and what you consume) than Australia's "Think of the Children" campaign.

Re:What is the price of tea in China? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496730)

>>>Who cares about China. Seriously.

"We will no longer be loaning either the US or EU any more money. Furthermore we've decided it's time to collect our 5 trillion in loans. If you don't have the money, we'll be happy to take Alaska and Spain as payment instead."

Yeah. Who cares about China?
Don't affect us at all!
(rolls eyes)

Re:What is the price of tea in China? (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496900)

You think they'd take Florida, New Jersey, New York City, Washington DC, and California instead of Alaska?

Re:What is the price of tea in China? (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496852)

Who cares about China. Seriously. What happens there with Google affects most of us absolutely not at all....

What direction is the censorship, privacy, and IP situation in the UK going?

Firstly, how hard would it have been to not click the title that clearly shows this is about Google in China if you don't care?
Secondly, many people feel developments like this are important. It's incredibly hard to predict with any accuracy what will be important geopolitically any distance into the future, but the belief that China will play an increasingly prominant role is pretty well founded.

Re:What is the price of tea in China? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496886)

So Google should be more careful, China could still get pregnant?

Re:What is the price of tea in China? (1)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497046)

That's all well and good except for every lawyer's favorite word: Precedent.

When, and sadly it's looking more and more like when rather than if, the western governments start stepping up the level of access they want to google's data, Google can pull out that giant trump card of calling said government's policies socialist and horrifyingly invasive, taking a moral (and populist) stand against the evils government oppression by comparing said government to China. (while conveniently forgetting the whole argument about whether or not it's safe for a private company to have the same data...)

(For the record, that's legitimately socialist, not the "Obamacare == teh socialists!!!111eleventyone!")

Now, is Google ever going to pull out of the US? or a similar market? I highly doubt it. But the precedent is there; Play nice or fuck off. I also feel like Google's walking away from a market where they aren't really that strong, and probably won't every really be that strong, to begin with. Baidu is supposedly the bee's knees over there, and they seem to have no problem cooperating with the government. Google probably wasn't ever going to take that stance, so they get to take a nice parting potshot as they go.

Besides, there are a billion or so folks in India who've got at least a slightly more tolerable government, and there are a couple hundred million Brazilians that are stepping up into a nice middle class as well. Perhaps, just perhaps, China may not be the be-all end-all of "emerging markets." If the internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it, then it would appear business can do the same thing with uncooperative governments.

Good. (-1, Redundant)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496420)

I doubt they came to this conclusion lightly, but whatever their reasons are for leaving (either humanitarian or because they got hacked), I'm glad to see them making what I believe to be the right choice.

China (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31496424)

Im gonna pull out of your mom soon

GTFO or STFU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31496444)

If you are going to get out, then get out.

Otherwise, stfu.

Posturing? (2, Interesting)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496448)

I think this is only posturing on Google's part. While China isn't a huge profit machine right now for them, access to 1.3B Internet users will be a big deal down the road.

If they step aside, they will only be opening the door for the growth of Bing. Since search is probably 99% of their income, giving way to a competitor is not something they want to be doing.

I highly doubt Google folds up shop in China.

Don't assume all people will/have access (5, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496622)

that number is really good when used two ways.

1) To sell people on the idea of possible market places

2) When trying to dilute negative actions by the government on a per capita basis, like how they claim to be very environmentally friendly on a per capita basis.

I do find it humorous all the people mentioning that Bing(MS)/Yahoo will go as they have no morals, I wonder how many read about the story in angst while using products wholly or partially made in China.

Re:Don't assume all people will/have access (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496766)

Buying products from China benefits the poor farmers - helps them earn extra cash.

Of course as oil shoots above $200 a barrel next decade, that market will eventually be closed to us (too far away/expensive to ship).

Re:Don't assume all people will/have access (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497034)

Search logs get activists killed. Censorship hurts a country. Products made in china less damaging to the people.

Android will keep Google in China (3, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496624)

While China isn't a huge profit machine right now for them, access to 1.3B Internet users will be a big deal down the road.

Android will probably keep Google in the Chinese market and generate targeted advertising revenue in some manner.

Re:Posturing? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496768)

I think this is only posturing on Google's part. While China isn't a huge profit machine right now for them, access to 1.3B Internet users will be a big deal down the road.

How many of those people have decent Internet access (as opposed to live as subsistence farmers in the middle of nowhere)?

How free is the market in China? Without at least a moderately free market, there is precious little point in advertising.

These are serious questions - my knowledge of China is approximately zero.

Re:Posturing? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497044)

> How free is the market in China?

The market for what? Lots of different things are sold in China. For some the market is quite free. Others are controlled by government monopolies.

Re:Posturing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31496778)

If they step aside, they will only be opening the door for the growth of Bing. Since search is probably 99% of their income, giving way to a competitor is not something they want to be doing.

china is dominated by local search companies (mostly baidu) - google never had any remarkable stand in china. and i hardly double bing will have any chance either...

it's not like search is rocket science only the american compabies can develop.

It should be interesting (4, Interesting)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496452)

Has a major player like Google ever completely abandoned a country before?

It should be interesting to see what kind of effect this has on Google, I doubt there will be a major change in China over this.

Re:It should be interesting (1)

c++0xFF (1758032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496504)

Who says they need to "completely abandon" anything? There's more than one way to make a buck in this world.

Re:It should be interesting (1)

Sagelinka (1427313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496928)

It would be impossible to abandon a country when the internet is as vast as the oceans. Google will just have to try another approach. Or build an army and take china by force. They could use Androids. :D

Duality in Leadership (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496456)

"I think Google thought China would be flexible," said Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group.

My opinion is that the CEO, Eric Schmidt [google.com] , differs from the young idealism of Larry Page and Sergey Brin. I do not mean that either side of this leadership is right or wrong but instead simply that they have different motivations. Brin's past has come up before [slashdot.org] as a source for this (seemingly) new found anti-censorship campaign.

Google's leadership is conflicted. Brin & Page see the ethics of the situation most important because their motivation seems to be less devoted to money. It certainly seemed to be an exercise in indexing when they started "Google." Schmidt, however, owes his allegience to the shareholders. Or at least feels the pull and responsibility of profit more so than any sort of ethical dilemma. And that's why he was put in that position: to keep investors investing. And, honestly, this last point is why I think this 'removal' is nothing but a rumor or a bluff. Because money is one of the most important things to Google. I don't think the young idealism will stand up to stock prices ... and I think everyone involved knows it. Until you tell me that Google.cn is dead and I go to the site and confirm it, I will not believe for a second this is possible.

Brin and Page's cashing out [slashdot.org] is really just symbolic of what's already happened at Google. Their motivations are like any other company's. Some of it is about the customer and some of it is about profit ... and that's it. Pesky ideals and ethics have no place in corporate America. Step aside. It's the safest path to churn out tons of cash. They're walking away from too much money and market to pull out of China. It would be bad for stocks and any investors would flip out ... probably even sue.

Re:Duality in Leadership (0)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496512)

One half of parent, I agree. The second half, I would not go that far.

Re:Duality in Leadership (3, Interesting)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496544)

Could a lawsuit have merit when Google's motto is do no evil? It is clear that their presence in China was creating harm.

On another note, I agree that google.cn will not be going anywhere. If nothing else, it would be a big FU to China to leave it as is but remove all censorship. Heck, pulling it might be construed as surrendering to censorship and therefore evil.

Re:Duality in Leadership (1)

geekmansworld (950281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496912)

Since the Chinese government controls the .cn domain, I doubt very much that google.cn will remain operational should Google and China have a less-than-amicable parting of ways.

"Do no evil" just a PR tag line (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496970)

Could a lawsuit have merit when Google's motto is do no evil?

Google's motto may be "do no evil" but Google also gets to decide what constitutes "evil". Its really just a marketing / public relations tag line. One should not expect the ethics and sensibilities of company founders to endure in a corporation. Anyone think HP is run as Mr. Hewlett and Mr. Packard envisioned?

Re:Duality in Leadership (2, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497092)

Could a lawsuit have merit when Google's motto is do no evil?

No. And it's not clear that Google's presence was doing harm.

What money? (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496702)

What money? People keep talking about China as if it is some huge source of profit for google. It is not. Google has a few side startups but its main business, advertising is NOT present in China. There are some chinese advetisers but they advertise OUTSIDE China.

The amount of revenue is around 300 million dollar. A pathetic amount and that is revenue, not profit.

The MBA's have long since declared China as some kind of holy grail, were the streets are made of gold and profits just happen. But it just ain't turning out that way.

For europeans, the US of A was much the same. Oh if we can only launch our product over there, we will have it made. Forget, if you are big in Holland then a flea can squash you in the US. You are nothing. Do 10 miljoen euro's and you will be a tiny blip as a Humvee drives over you. Conquer the german market, go south to france. Not instantly across the ocean, with insane transportation costs, gap in working hours, cultural differences.

Google did have long term plans for China, but they might be wondering that with the little result so far, it is actually worth the hassle.

And I think China might be bluffing as well. If Google moves out, they might not loose all that much, but others could start to examine their own future in China.

In itself, it is not unusual for a company to rethink its activities in a region.

Re:Duality in Leadership (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496804)

Schmidt, however, owes his allegience to the shareholders. Or at least feels the pull and responsibility of profit more so than any sort of ethical dilemma.

His responsibility to his shareholders is an ethical issue. If he makes a decision that affects Google's share price, he's burning other people's money in a big fire, so the effect on the world at large has to be weighed against the effect on shareholders. Of course, if Google had stayed out of censorship in the first place, he wouldn't have to make that decision. I imagine that's why "don't be evil" was implimented. Staying out of a market on principle doesn't look as bad as having to abandon one on principle.

Re:Duality in Leadership (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496884)

>>>Some of it is about the customer and some of it is about profit ... and that's it. Pesky ideals and ethics have no place in corporate America.
>>>

Which is why I hate corporations. They take-away that human element that exists in a Proprietorship or Partnership-based company. The morality disappears and is replaced with penny-pinching.

I saw this at my old company JCPenney. While it was run by the originator, James Cash Penney, it was run to serve the customer. Profit was secondary and often Mr. Penney would criticize his store managers if they earned too much money. ----- Now 25 years later the store has turned into a money-grubbing business. I tried to exchange my size 9.0 shoes for 8.5 shoes. Never worn.

I was blocked because my receipt had "expired". Ridiculous. It's not as if the store loses anything by exchanging one brand-new box for another brand-new box, but they'd rather piss off a customer than treat said customer like a person.

Corporations are almost as evil as the Government Monopoly.

Re:Duality in Leadership (2, Insightful)

introspekt.i (1233118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496982)

Schmidt may owe his allegiance to the shareholders, but he might also be able to make the case that pulling out of China (for now) in the name of free speech will add so much value to the Google brand that it may be an opportunity not worth missing.

Or at least feels the pull and responsibility of profit more so than any sort of ethical dilemma.

How are you so sure?

Pesky ideals and ethics have no place in corporate America.

I think you're being a bit too cynical with Google. At least thus far, I think they've shown a healthy habit of finding a third way to maintain trust with consumers and build confidence in shareholders. Google isn't in an invulnerable position. If they scare their customers enough, people will simply stop using them out of fear of what's going on with their information because they don't trust Google any more. Google has to appease its user base just as much as its shareholders. This issue in China might be a case of it falling in favor of its users to protect its brand in its main markets.

Re:Duality in Leadership (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497002)

FWIW, Google stock price was down 3% since news of the pullout becoming more likely broke. It's recovered .5% since.

Ewww nasty! (0)

orsty3001 (1377575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496490)

Less regretful than pulling out of Chyna.

Rob Enderle? OMG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31496500)

This guy is a known paid MSFT shill.

An opinion from Rob and $2.50 would get you a small latte at Starbucks.

Rob is a complete tool.

Not bad (0, Redundant)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496506)

Google Readying To Pull Out of China

- hopefully it will work out and China will not get pregnant. Imagine the litter? Little Choogle or maybe little Gooina.

They should have really used better contraception though, you never know what kind of a virus one may get going barebone like that!

Re:Not bad (1)

c++0xFF (1758032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496960)

Advice to Google:

Don't spend too much time "readying" to pull out. I've made that mistake too many times, and the child support payments are killing me!

Enderle (5, Insightful)

thelexx (237096) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496576)

> 'I think Google thought China would be flexible,' said Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group.

And I think you're an idiot Robert. If there is one word NO ONE in the West would use to describe the Chinese government, it is 'flexible'.

Re:Enderle (3, Insightful)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496668)

PLEASE stop using Rob Enderle as a source for analysis. Time and time again this guy has managed to be wrong, yet people STILL go to him for quotes on anything related to technology.

Re:Enderle (1)

Wingsy (761354) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497008)

Agree 110%. I stopped reading the article as soon as I saw his name, knowing that anything I read from anyone who quotes him is garbage.

But I did read a few /. comments. :)

Re:Enderle (1)

Sagelinka (1427313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496782)

Lol the whole point of bringing up Enderle is to show his opinionated statement about Google and China.

Re:Enderle (1)

introspekt.i (1233118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497024)

I don't think Chinese leadership is inflexible by western standards. Rather, I think they're completely pragmatic and utilitarian. If Google were to make it worth their while, they'd probably be willing to negotiate, however, I don't think Google's willing to go as far as that takes. "Flexible" is a relative term.

The Pull out technique doesn't work (1, Funny)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496616)

Abstinence is the only 100% method to prevent pregnancy. The pull out technique doesn't work. I hope China was on the Pill.

Re:The Pull out technique doesn't work (1)

Sagelinka (1427313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496836)

lol, there is a google look alike site. goojje must be micro$ofts doing!!!

Ask Mary how well abstinence worked for her (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31496906)

... or for that matter any of the states with skyrocketing pregnancy rates....

Trade secrets (2, Interesting)

Nimey (114278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496628)

Maybe former Google.cn employees will find themselves pressured into giving away Google's trade secrets to the Chinese government.

Re:Trade secrets (1)

Sagelinka (1427313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496980)

Thats very interesting. I didn't think about that. Could be but most of the data they could offer would just be minor intelligence. Nothing that could get them to hack the all mighty google. To think that people would defect and sell out Google. Now there's something you don't hear everyday.

Subsidiary (2, Insightful)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496638)

Yeah Google may pull out of China, but there's no way in hell they'll just turn away over a BILLION customers (or advertisers' customers).

They'll just open a subsidiary in China and operate within the law.

There: do no evil under your own brand name.

Re:Subsidiary (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497082)

> They'll just open a subsidiary in China and operate within the law.

They did. It was called Google.cn.

Well that is good but. (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496640)

Will Google stop buying stuff from China.
The Nexus 1 is made by HTC probably in China.
The iPhone and most of Apples products are made in China so no Google isn't alone.
We as a nation need to stop sending our money to China. How about it Google. Take that big monster pile of cash and build some factories in the US.
Start making phones and motherboards in the US again. Would you pay $10 more for a Google Motherboard built in Iowa or Idaho over an Asus built in China if it was the same quality?
Think of it Google you could pay workers in the US that would then spend that money in the US and buy stuff made in the US "hopefully"
How about not just trying to not be evil but trying to be good?

On a more cynical note. Google isn't making a lot of money in China, odds are the Chinese search engine is benefiting from stolen Google tech will get government support, and they could leverage that tech to start going head to head with Google in world markets.
So they have nothing really to loose by bailing out of China.

Re:Well that is good but. (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496822)

Start making phones and motherboards in the US again. Would you pay $10 more for a Google Motherboard built in Iowa or Idaho over an Asus built in China if it was the same quality?

The mass migration of manufacturing to China would suggest that - as far as the market as a whole is concerned - the answer to that question is "no".

Next question?

Re:Well that is good but. (1)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496924)

Would you pay $10 more for a Google Motherboard built in Iowa or Idaho over an Asus built in China if it was the same quality?

Personally, I would. I already try to buy products made anywhere but in China - especially anything food or health related - but when it comes to electronics there really isn't a whole lot of choice.

For desktops and laptops, there IS the option of Union Built PC [unionbuiltpc.com] but the machines are only assembled, not actually made, in North America. I have no idea what the quality is like either.

Re:Well that is good but. (2, Informative)

iserlohn (49556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497006)

The Nexus One is built by HTC in Taiwan. The components are sourced from around the world though (eg. screen is from Samsung/SK).

Re:Well that is good but. (1)

algormortis (1422619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497012)

How about not just trying to not be evil but trying to be good?

I like how you consider bringing business to China "evil." Many Chinese citizens are in need of work, and their laws allow foreign investors to take advantage of the cheap labor available. True, the U.S. isn't in the best economic situation, but it's still not "evil" to give work to people in another country who need it, even if you don't like their government.

Good news for Baidu! (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496708)

It's also good news for Microhoo. Google, as a publicly traded company, only has the obligation to make a profit for shareholders regardless of their "Do no evil" hooey which, let's face it, once you're publicly traded becomes more of a guideline than a rule. Really, Google wants to increase their market share just like anyone else.

I seriously doubt that they will pull out of China and are just sabre rattling although sabre rattling with the Chinese government is a losing proposition. Microhoo and Baidu should be thanking Google if they indeed pull out but I highly doubt they will. They could always change their motto to "we do less evil than everyone else", then they could stay. It's a more realistic motto anyway.

Re:Good news for Baidu! (3, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496904)

Look at this another way:

Possible Motivation for An Organised Attempt to Hack Google:

  • Gain access to Google's user data. Not good - that data is far and away the biggest thing Google sell.
  • Gain insight into Google's technology. Even worse - their technology is what keeps their users coming back, and prevents the user data above from becoming stale.
  • Willy waving. Embarrassing for Google, particularly if it leads to either of the above being compromised.

Sooner or later, the cost of dealing with this kind of espionage will outweigh the benefit of doing business in China. Looks like Google reckon that time has already come.

Get ready (1)

Mathness (145187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496740)

Google Readying To Pull Out of China

Get ready for the money shot!

At last! (1)

Terminus32 (968892) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496860)

About time too... *nods to Spielberg*

Obligatory Simpsons Quote (1)

MrTripps (1306469) | more than 4 years ago | (#31496942)

"Come on, China! You used to be cool!" Expecting an oppressive regime to be flexible is usually a precept to disappointment.

China Inc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31496966)

Lesson for U.S. co's: Don't even think about compete against China Inc.

My Interpretation: (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 4 years ago | (#31497088)

Chinese Gov: you have to censor, it is the law.
Google: ok we follow the law, you dont interfere with our operation
Chinese Gov: ok.
Google: Somebody hacked us
Chinese police: we dont know what you are talking about and we dont investigate
Google: that is not nice, we know its something semi-official
Chinese Gov: maybe, we dont know nothing

No, seriously. If you cant rely that the police will investigate some crime which endangers your operation, you leave a country. Even if the guy who hacked hacked for a private purpose *profit* but is utouchable because he may be linked to the gov or the police, you leave.

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