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Google Reported Ready To Leave China April 10

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the so-he-says dept.

Google 176

A number of readers including tsj5j and bruleriestdenis wrote to alert us to this CNET story: "Google is expected to announce on Monday that it will withdraw from China on April 10, according to a report in a Beijing-based newspaper that cited an unidentified sales associate who works with the company. '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 the agent as saying. The report also said Google would reveal its plans for its China-based staff that day."

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hmm... (4, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539742)

..it will be interesting to see what kind of repercussions google's employees living in China might have to face. This may sound weird, but I'm a bit worried for their workers over there...

Re:hmm... (-1, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539820)

Chinese government so scary! Booga booga!

Re:hmm... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31539956)

Yeah, they're not so bad. I mean, c'mon! China's so damn generous with their transplantable organs, how bad could they possibly be?

Re:hmm... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31540020)

Who wants to raise funds to send this guy there?

Re:hmm... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31540394)

GP is justified in his concern. Over a tiff over Australian-Chinese ore trade, China arrested four employees from the Australian firm Rio. Australian officials are banned from the proceedings.

See:
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62I18V20100319

Re:hmm... (5, Insightful)

Ryvar (122400) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540010)

I'm a bit worried about workers in China regardless of who they work for.

--Ryvar

Re:hmm... (1)

chaodyn (1313729) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541026)

And I'm so worried about the baggage retrieval system they've got at Heathrow.

Re:hmm... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541146)

Why? Did your SO put you in a crate or something?

Re:hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31541512)

An American corporation showing concern for its employees? That's downright Un-American. The only concern for a publicly listed coporation is the bottom line.

Re:hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31540018)

An actual legitimate use for H1-B Visa.

Or they could open Google Taiwan. After all, they do speak the language.

Re:hmm... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540154)

Or they could open Google Taiwan. After all, they do speak the language.

Dialects of spoken Chinese can be different from one another as Spanish is from French. Just because you can speak Mandarin doesn't mean you can speak Taiwanese.

Re:hmm... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31540308)

The vast majority of people in Taiwan can speak Mandarin.

Re:hmm... (5, Informative)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540378)

Official language at Taiwan is mandarin, and the language called Taiwanese is the same dialect used in south of Fujian province [wikipedia.org] . So the most part of spoken language is ok. The writing system is the problem. Taiwan use traditional character set, and mainland China use simplified character set.

Re:hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31541086)

I speak some Taiwanese and as the Wikipedia article you cited says, it's not mutually intelligible with the Southern Min spoken in Fujian and Hainan provinces. That said, most people speak Mandarin and Taiwanese Standard Mandarin is close to Beijing Standard Mandarin.

The writing system is not a significant problem because most characters are either completely or nearly identical, and most of the simplified characters are used in Taiwan as handwritten shortcuts. That's all simplified characters are. The PRC chose to standardize printed characters to mostly match handwritten characters.

Re:hmm... (1)

LtGordon (1421725) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540624)

Or they could open Google Taiwan. After all, they do speak the language.

I think they were interested in China more for the marketplace than not wanting to learn Spanish instead.

Re:hmm... (1, Troll)

Sagelinka (1427313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540234)

With good right your worried. I am too. They are people too. Loosing a good job working for Google will have serious financial issues for the people in China.

Re:hmm... (0, Flamebait)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541696)

Mao Tse Tung's personally selected leaders will shoot these "intellectuals" in the head. Problem solved.

And then Obama's Communications Director will give a speech about how Mao is her "favorite philosopher"

No, no, I'm just joking.
:-|

Re:hmm... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31540256)

Speaking as someone with ties to the Chinese government, I can confirm that they will be murdered.

Re:hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31540336)

As an AC, I can confirm that the parent is me and that I don't know what I'm talking about.

Re:hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31540408)

As an AC, I concur.

Re:hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31540580)

As the real AC, who really does have ties to the Chinese government, I am going to have you both murdered.

Re:hmm... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31540630)

And as a real AC, I make air cooler.

Re:hmm... (3, Informative)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540262)

I heard their key employees have already been hired by Baidu, MS and Alibaba several weeks ago. Google.cn had to hire new people two weeks ago to keep the company running. And top three managers of google.cn decided to start their own search business.

Re:hmm... (3, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540306)

This makes me happy. Not that it's Google, specifically, but I'm happy to see any company pull out of China. Wake up, world. Globalization is not the way forward.
Wait until Google is actually gone. See what happens to anything and everything that is either left behind, or has already been pilfered, copied, cracked, or whatever. China respects no "intellectual" property, whatsoever. All the property of Google in China is actually the property of China - intellectual, or otherwise.

Expect Choogle to come online by the end of April, in direct competition with Google.

Re:hmm... (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540654)

If all of this was happening in Japan, the upcoming search engine would be called Moogle.

Re:hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31541340)

+1 Final fantasy Reference

Re:hmm... (2, Interesting)

homer_s (799572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540990)

Globalization is not the way forward.

Are you also against inter-state trade? Why not? If trade between 2 ppl in different countries is bad (that is what globalization is), why is trade between 2 ppl in 2 different state here is ok?

Wealth is created by division of labour aka trade - it doesn't matter if the 2 people trading are standing on either side of an imaginary line or not.

Re:hmm... (3, Insightful)

CherniyVolk (513591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541336)

Are you also against inter-state trade? Why not? If trade between 2 ppl in different countries is bad (that is what globalization is), why is trade between 2 ppl in 2 different state here is ok?

Did you not notice you used the word "trade"? Did you not actually "trade" with your friends as a child? Google opening shop in China is in no way "trade", not even similar concept no matter how you look at it.

How weird it must be, instead of saying "Hey John, I'll trade you my apple for your fruit cup." with "Hey John, let me live with you in your room, under governance of your mom and dad so I can get a fruit cup too. Alice, Bob, Jack and I will form a committee to arbitrate a 'agreement' between us, so you have to let me live in your house with you. Oh, and btw, I don't agree with your posters on the wall, you have to change them from Porsche's to Lamborghini's and that super model chick you have has mutilated her body which is against my principles so we'll have to bring legal action against you and question your compliance to the way I think things should be."

Re:hmm... (0, Flamebait)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541652)

As already pointed out by sibling post - doing business in China is not "trade".

Addressing globalization - that's not really "trade" either. Corporate America is sacking the United States, and Corporate Europe is raping Europe, moving manufacturing and other business to third world countries, where they can make goods more cheaply.

Americans are getting nothing in "trade". Especially in the case of China, which regularly uncovers a new scandal involving deadly products being sold around the world.

Let's sit and talk about this "globalization" thing. Here, I'll pour some coffee. Care for some melanin in your coffee? Or, I have powdered melanin, if you prefer. Fresh off the boat from China!

Re:hmm... (2, Informative)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541554)

Expect Choogle to come online by the end of April, in direct competition with Google.

Well, it already exists; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baidu [wikipedia.org]

The only problem is, a lot of people in China find Google better for some purposes, (including party members, according to a report I heard).

You'd better believe that if the Chinese Gov did not want Google to stay, they would have already thrown them out...

Re:hmm... (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541752)

Yeah, I've been to Baidu a few times.

Can you IMAGINE the arrogance of those people? That Chinese site is in Chinese!! Wait - wut did I just say?

Alright, seriously - if I can switch languages, I don't know how, so it's useless to me. Is there a character on their page that says, "Click here for English, you foreign devil dog" ????

It's time to chew bubble gum and kick ass... (4, Funny)

eagee (1308589) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539752)

And google is all out of bubble gum.

Re:It's time to chew bubble gum and kick ass... (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539776)

Google came to do two things, make money via search-based ads, and chew bubble gum. And they're out of bubble gum.

Re:It's time to chew bubble gum and kick ass... (4, Funny)

greenguy (162630) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540096)

Dude, do you know how much money Google has? They never run out of anything.

Re:It's time to chew bubble gum and kick ass... (2, Funny)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540146)

The chinese government stole all of their bubble gum. That's why google is so upset.

Re:It's time to chew bubble gum and kick ass... (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540168)

The Chinese will be back wearing sunglasses...

Re:It's time to chew bubble gum and kick ass... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31541304)

Way to fuck up the quote dude.

"Its time to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I'm all outta gum"

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Duke_Nukem

Re:It's time to chew bubble gum and kick ass... (4, Informative)

hitchhacker (122525) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541680)

Way to fuck up the real quote dude.
"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubblegum" -- Roddy Piper
The quote from 'They Live' [youtube.com]

The source is a salesperson (4, Interesting)

dracocat (554744) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539778)

Why on earth would a salesperson at google be in the know on this one?

My guess is a memo or something went out saying they would have a meeting on April 10th to discuss things, and the rumor mill starting going full speed inside the department about what it was about.

I just find it hard to believe that Google's sales department would be let in on too much information.

Re:The source is a salesperson (3, Insightful)

TSchut (1314115) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539808)

Well, if the salesperson is working in China it would be nice for him/her to know he's losing his job on April 10th.

Re:The source is a salesperson (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31539992)

The sales department sometimes need to know things before other departments. Pushing hard to secure a large deal with an influential customer, only for head office to announce the product is canceled the next day, tends to make your organisation look like a bit of a goose.

Re:The source is a salesperson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31541452)

"The sales department sometimes need to know things before other departments. "

The date when the program will begin selling before the programmers will know it?

Re:The source is a salesperson (4, Insightful)

SoopahMan (706062) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540046)

This is at least somewhat irresponsible journalism. I mean, obviously Google needs time to consider first, how to deal with China, and second if it comes to it, how to handle it adequately. They should have the opportunity to plan and deliver the bad news themselves rather than some kneejerk reporter trying to make a name for themselves. Imagine how depressing this must be for Google China employees.

Screw you, CNet.

The joyful side of censorship (3, Funny)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540458)

Imagine how depressing this must be for Google China employees.

No worries, they can't see it. I'm sure it is filtered..

Re:The joyful side of censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31541038)

I think they'll get the hint though since all of google being IN china is censored as well.

Never happened.

Re:The source is a salesperson (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540552)

Unless intended - what better way to Pressure China to change its ways then to threaten to leave. Made the news the world over for a week.

Now, they've been given 3 days to change their mind.

Re:The source is a salesperson (2, Insightful)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540144)

intentional potentially deniable leak to test the waters?

Re:The source is a salesperson (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541700)

The next step would be to officially allow anyone at Google to speak to the press, allowing the source to be identified.

Re:The source is a salesperson (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540424)

Either way - doesn't it seem a little ridiculous to report that their will be an announcement a few days away regarding a plan to take place a week or two after?

It's like - if Google had actually decided to pull out by now, don't you think they might have done so?

Maybe they haven't yet settled on it, and they're either double checking their math, or waiting for a response by Monday for something.

If the Chinese have any benefit from Google at all - wouldn't it put the heat on them to leak info that they might announce their departure a few days before the announcement?

Re:The source is a salesperson (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541068)

It might be bunk, of course, but I don't think that's much evidence. If I had already made the decision and just hadn't announced it yet I probably would have sent a memo out to the China sales staff telling them to, you know, stop selling things because effective April 10th you'd just have to give them their money back anyway.

That said, I've also heard it on financial reports on television. Naturally that is not a great source either, but the consensus seems to be that Google is definitely leaving. Their stock even took a hit for it a few days ago. The fact that it's coming soon wouldn't surprise me.

I'm with Google. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31539780)

I support Google in this. Censorship is BS and should never be tolerated.

Re:I'm with Google. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31540528)

Please mod down parent!

Re:I'm with Google. (2, Funny)

HisMother (413313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541004)

+1 Funny

Re:I'm with Google. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31541264)

Mod it down? Wimp. This is China. Admins, delete the message immediately.

Re:I'm with Google. (1)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540902)

Google has taken substantial hits to their goodwill lately with their stance on privacy and an ever-growing concern that they've become stewards of vast stores of personal data without any guarantees that it will never be misused. Of course, Google's entire business model depends on people handing over their personal data, so goodwill is a hugely important asset to them.

Google is hoping to regain some of that goodwill with a highly public stance against Chinese censorship, at the cost of what is so far a relatively small market for them. I would imagine they're hoping they'll be able to sneak back into China quietly at some point in the future. Best case for them would be that China actually responds to the pressure and quietly dismantles their Great Firewall 5 years from now, but Google will likely be back there whether they do or not. China is a relatively small market for them now, but the potential is too big for a publicly traded company to ignore forever.

Re:I'm with Google. (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541812)

Google has taken substantial hits to their goodwill lately with their stance on privacy and an ever-growing concern that they've become stewards of vast stores of personal data without any guarantees that it will never be misused.

Google already gave us a legal guarantee that they won't misuse the data, which is the only kind of guarantee that really matters from a corporation in most peoples eyes.

The 'privacy' link at the bottom of the main page links to their current policy and all archived copies.
  http://www.google.com/intl/en/privacypolicy.html [google.com]

These are legally binding, at least in the USA.
What more would you prefer? Eric Schmidt to stop by with a personal word of honor? ;}

Unfortunately, there are many other people whom also feel the only guarantee Google could make that would satisfy them, is to shut down business operations and have a massive hard drive burning and shredding party :{

Re:I'm with Google. (1)

waspleg (316038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541140)

you say, both anonymously and with delicious irony, on a heavily moderated forum. el oh el.

Like rain on your wedding day? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541508)

("Censorship is BS and should never be tolerated.")

you say, both anonymously and with delicious irony, on a heavily moderated forum. el oh el.

So... what's your point, again?

Being anonymous isn't censorship. Being moderated down isn't censorship, particularly on a site where one can still read anything that's been moderated down. And, in fact, he hasn't been modded down. So it seems like he's neither in a situation where he'd likely be subject to censorship, nor is he, in fact, being censored. So where's the irony?

What does it mean to "leave"? (5, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539784)

So they close up shop there. They are an INTERNET COMPANY!

As long as they aren't blocked, they can still serve those users in China. And if they aren't blocked, they can still charge for advertising to non-Chinese customers.

I asked this before, and everyone said something to the effect of "THERE ARE BILLIONS OF CHINESE" as a reason why Google should stay. But I'm still not seeing it. Google can operate from anywhere. A local presence provides them very little unless they intend to expand some China-specific business/technology, which they haven't done at all (for any country they are currently in for that matter).

Re:What does it mean to "leave"? (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539816)

But they will be blocked in China. Remember the motto of the Chinese DNS servers: All your search are belong to us.

Re:What does it mean to "leave"? (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539862)

I'll take your word for it, I suppose...

Re:What does it mean to "leave"? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540366)

In China, all your word are belong to us, also. ;^)

Re:What does it mean to "leave"? (4, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540246)

Being physically located in China or not has nothing to do with China blocking them. China could block them if they kept up shop in China, or they could not block them even though they no longer have employees in China.

By removing themselves physically from China they might risk upsetting China (so that they are blocked) but that is not a certainty, and they ensure the physical safety of their employees.

Re:What does it mean to "leave"? (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541214)

Being physically located in China or not has nothing to do with China blocking them. China could block them if they kept up shop in China, or they could not block them even though they no longer have employees in China.

By removing themselves physically from China they might risk upsetting China (so that they are blocked) but that is not a certainty, and they ensure the physical safety of their employees.

I believe that their servers are located in China so that all requested searches go to those specific servers and the authorities then would have rights over said hardware should they deem it necessary to gain access to them. If all the data was/is housed anywhere else it would be very difficult for the Chinese government to gain _legal_ access to the data.

Re:What does it mean to "leave"? (1, Funny)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540826)

Pet peeve: Why is hyperbolic rhetoric like this increasingly being modded to +5 Insightful?

You could have easily stated that China has a history of blocking non-vetted search engines without the sarcastic comment and nerdy in-joke. Rhetoric like this looks halfway-legitimate to somebody who is not intimately familiar with the topic being discussed, and helps spread misinformation. As far as I'm aware, there's no official known policy, and certainly no "motto"

Slightly offtopic, but I bring this up, because I keep seeing throngs of protesters visibly upset because the healthcare bill will pay for abortions and death-panels, despite the fact that these two claims are bold-faced lies. Misinformation and sarcastic/hyperbolic rhetoric is having a *huge* adverse impact on the state of political discourse, and knowledge in general in our society. Remember: your words, no matter where you say them, or how insignificant they are, do have tangible consequences.

I don't implicitly trust China, although you could certainly provide plenty of legitimate and verifiable evidence to support that claim. The only mod that this post could possibly deserve is +Funny. If this passes as "information" or "insight," then we have failed as a society.

Re:What does it mean to "leave"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31540008)

As long as they aren't blocked, they can still serve those users in China

Of course they'll be blocked: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Shield_Project

Re:What does it mean to "leave"? (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540518)

And they had been blocked. China had blocked google.com several years ago for several weeks and youtube is still blocked.

Re:What does it mean to "leave"? (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540074)

My understanding is that they aren't planning on closing their offices in China, they are merely planning on closing down their chinese search engine. It is the requirement to censor that is really bothering them, and they are not going to do it anymore.

They still will keep their advertising department open, and whatever other programming they do (it's such a pain to start an office in China that it's not a bad idea to keep a small office there, in case you ever do decide to start doing something there, it won't take six months of bribing people to get all the permits etc).

Re:What does it mean to "leave"? (1)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541190)

My understanding is that they aren't planning on closing their offices in China, they are merely planning on closing down their chinese search engine. It is the requirement to censor that is really bothering them, and they are not going to do it anymore.

I congratulate Google and suggest that their new motto be:

"Don't be evil...anymore" or maybe "Don't be evil...as much".

I do genuinely applaud the move (if they make it), but it would have been far better to say no when asked to help oppress over a billion of their fellow humans.

Re:What does it mean to "leave"? (1)

Primitive Pete (1703346) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540578)

Leave = move assets to somewhere else. If was was Google, making what might possibly be a departure statement on April 10, I'd make sure that my critical assets were safe before, say, March 1. I don't want to donate my IP to the Chinese government (or any other, for that matter).

Re:What does it mean to "leave"? (1)

xant (99438) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541428)

Sure. As soon as they do that, they'll be blocked. Google is "in" China because Google is physically in China, where:

  1. They are given special access to get through the Great Firewall, and
  2. China can prosecute Google employees if Google doesn't comply with local laws

Google physically shutting down offices means China no longer has leverage over actual human beings working there. So they'll use the only other leverage they have: the Firewall. Expect google.cn to be accessible everywhere but in .cn.

bad memories (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31539794)

America is leaving SE Asia again? Its nam all over again man!

The (more literal) China way of termination? (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539852)

"The report also said Google would reveal its plans for its China-based staff that day."

Literal termination of life, courtesy of the Chinese military & police?

Google (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539878)

Kudos to Google for showing the middle finger to the Chinese politicians.

Re:Google (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540086)

Notice the repeated statements in TFS about how nothing is officially confirmed. I think we should hold our cries of celebration until we get some official word here.

They won't leave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31539908)

Google is not going to leave China. They didn't even file a complaint with the Chinese government. The whole thing is just drama + propaganda.

Re:They won't leave (1)

Kissing Crimson (197314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540248)

[citation needed]

Re:They won't leave (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540564)

Just google.cn it!

D'oh!

Google's No Freedom Fighter (3, Insightful)

rutabagaman (120913) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540104)

Google didn't come to this decision because they found their moral compass all of a sudden--otherwise they wouldn't have agreed to play censor for the government in the first place. Like any corporation they were attracted to China by the money and the audience, but after finding out the government was all too willing to help Baidu and hinder Google they re-evaluated their decision. The cyber attack may have been the breaking point, but it may just as well have been a convenient event for Google to justify their standoff with the government.

Re:Google's No Freedom Fighter (5, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540556)

Google didn't come to this decision because they found their moral compass all of a sudden--otherwise they wouldn't have agreed to play censor for the government in the first place.

Alternatively, like any individual or group, they may have felt, at the time, that they could do some good by operating in China, and then realized, in retrospect, that that simply wasn't the case.

But you're right. It makes way more sense to ascribe sinister, greedy motivations to them. No company can possibly make a mistake...

Re:Google's No Freedom Fighter (4, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541156)

He was saying they made a mistake, they thought something would be profitable, but it turns out it wasn't worth the effort.

There was no sinister greedy motivations ascribed. Just usual business decisions.

Re:Google's No Freedom Fighter (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541736)

There was no sinister greedy motivations ascribed. Just usual business decisions.

Remember that to the average Slashdotter, usual business decisions are sinister greedy motivations.

Re:Google's No Freedom Fighter (5, Insightful)

rutabagaman (120913) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541278)

It's less about greed on Google's part and more about the usual cost-benefit analysis of doing business with China's repressive government. Google just stayed until the disadvantages outweighed the benefits.

Sure it is (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31540732)

Google didn't come to this decision because they found their moral compass all of a sudden--otherwise they wouldn't have agreed to play censor for the government in the first place. Like any corporation they were attracted to China by the money and the audience, but after finding out the government was all too willing to help Baidu and hinder Google they re-evaluated their decision. The cyber attack may have been the breaking point, but it may just as well have been a convenient event for Google to justify their standoff with the government.

So Google's motives are not altruistic. So what? Lots of "freedom fighters" aren't motivated by an altruistic desire to oppose tyranny and promote liberty wherever they can. They're motivated because their toes were stepped on and they want to fight back.

It's pretty rare that anyone deliberately goes and gets involved in a Freedom Fight that they have no stake in. That doesn't mean they're not justified in doing so.

Re:Google's No Freedom Fighter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31540792)

The US founding fathers weren't freedom fighters either? They didn't come to this decision because they found their moral compass all of a sudden--otherwise they wouldn't have been ok with paying taxes and lacking representation within the British government in the first place. Like any other colonists, they were attracted to the America by the money and the audience, but after finding out the government was all too willing to help the loyalists, they re-evaluated their decision. The 'intolerable acts' may have been the breaking point, but it may just as well have been a convenient event for the revolutionaries to justify their standoff with the government.

Re:Google's No Freedom Fighter (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541170)

Who cares? In the end, it's the result that matters.

Re:Google's No Freedom Fighter (1)

0xABADC0DA (867955) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541286)

An alternative theory is that Google originally thought it's value was in its employees, so even if somebody stole their technology and methods it wouldn't matter much. But now they realize that another company using their code and methods could easily out compete them with some help from the government or better cultural understanding. And the only way to protect your stuff from China is to not locate it in China.

In other words, Google now believes its future rests on leveraging network effects from its properties and not from innovation. They will continue to innovate as there are some smart productive people working there, but strategically their future will rest on buying out new competitors and 'cutting off the air supply' of those it can't buy out. Of course, being a marketing company they will have some friendlier term for it, maybe something 'stealing their Buzz' or 'spamming their blog'.

Apirl? (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540164)

I really they'd had said April 1st instead. That would have foxed everyone :)

Re:Apirl? (2, Funny)

boarder8925 (714555) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541292)

I really that would be hilarious.

Re:Apirl? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31541364)

I really they'd had said April 1st instead. That would have foxed everyone :)

if they have other stuff to announce on 1 april, then maybe better not to have this cluttering the newspapers' tech section on same day

If this is true..... (1)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540224)

If this is really going to occur, it's huge. Getting the Kiss Of Death from Google is tantamount to getting kicked off the information superhighway.

Old Quote (2, Insightful)

MrTripps (1306469) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540370)

Remember that old quote about how the Internet interprets censorship as damage and routs around it? That doesn't apply anymore.

Perspective of a Chinese-Canadian (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31540470)

I'm of two minds on this. On the one hand, I applaud Google for sticking to their guns, and keeping consistent with their Do No Evil policy. On the other hand, I also understand the patriarchal nature of Chinese society, and the need for a strong central authority to maintain order - its order - at any cost. The patriarchal perspective has its roots in the dynastic nature of China for almost the entirety of its 2000+ year existence, and that doesn't change in a mere century, especially not when the society is steeped in tradition.

I'm guessing the Chinese government views Google in the same way a very conservative father might see a rebellious teenager, while Google sees the Chinese government as wanting to have things both ways with regards to playing by their rules and protection under their laws. The viewpoints of father-knows-best versus fairness are incompatible, and it was only a matter of time before the two split on ideological differences. Add to the fact that Google isn't making too much in China right now as a distant second in terms of marketshare compared to Baidu, and you can see how they might decide that they have more to gain from publicly splitting with China in order to improve their public perception with the western market (and possibly win points with the US government).

(The CAPTCHA for this post is 'bypasses' - fitting, isn't it?)

According to who? (1)

Rhacman (1528815) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540504)

"according to a report in a Beijing-based newspaper" Ahh I see, or rather, nothing to see here. Easy enough to just wait to hear from Google.

The great firewall (1)

jwegy (775655) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540758)

Wouldn't it be great if all non-Chinese websites blocked all Chinese IP addresses? I know it would hurt the average Chinese citizen, but it sure would make a good point.

Re:The great firewall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31541412)

Yeah, great for the Chinese government. No longer to need to maintain the fire wall.

The salesman... (1)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540858)

...has since been sacked.

Seriously, WTF is this person thinking?

Why April 2nd? (0, Troll)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541036)

Methinks this is an April Fools Joke.

Mod me up or you are the other kind of person.

Re:Why April 2nd? (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541076)

Methinks you are a fool.

To the editor (1)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 4 years ago | (#31541314)

Dear slashdot: Please stop posting rumors. I would like some facts, not an entire front page full of unverifiable rumors.
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