Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Google to Quit China, Fans Offered Flowers, Held Light Vigil at Its Beijing Headquarters (Pictures)

David Drummond, Google's chief legal officer, threatened in a blog post the search engine giant would quit the China market. Influential Chinese IT blogger Keso explicitly used Google Quits China as the title for a response to Mr Drummond's statement. Quite some of Google fans in Beijing offered followers and even held a small light vigil at Google headquarters in Beijing's Tsinghua High-tech Park upon hearing the distressed news.

The apparent reason, though as Drummond used six paragraphs of his nine-paragraphed article to explain, is what he said because Chinese hackers attacked its core infrastructure and tried to access the Gmail accounts of some Chinese human rights activists.

These were just too simple excuses. The four years of Google's existence as Google China in Beijing, was bumpy, inconvenient. It had to offer a censored (or Still the company was often screwed up by the Chinese government, especially in 2009 when it was accused of spreading pornographic contents not once but twice on some high profiled events.

David Drummond revealed Google is "no longer willing to continue censoring our results on," followed by a much diplomatic toned sentence "and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all" before he finally acknowledged "We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down, and potentially our offices in China."

For those who are familiar with Google's situation, what David Drummond hinted can 100% certain that Google will pull out the plug from China.

In a report by Xinhua which is China's official news agency, the anonymous employee at Google Beijing Office said "No agreement will be reached with both sides refusing to give in."

Even though, some Chinese officials cast their doubts on Google's decision. "It is still hard to say whether Google will quit China or not. Nobody knows," a high-ranking official with China's State Council Information Office told to Xinhua in a telephone interview on the condition of anonymity.

Strangely enough, Guo Ke, a professor on mass communication from Shanghai International Studies University, told Xinhua it was "almost impossible" for Google to quit China. He believed "Google is just playing cat and mouse, and trying to use netizens' anger or disappointment as leverage." Nevertheless, it's true that Guo's viewpoint that Chinese Internet users are the real victims if Google quits China."

Images via Bonnae /

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