According to an unidentified source reporting to the China Business News, Google might be leaving the country as early as April 10. Negotiations between China and Google have been ongoing since January with no apparent resolution to date. Both entities are remaining firm in their position which seems to be increasing the tension between them, as well as the likelihood that Google will soon make an official exit-announcement.
Of Google's several business ventures in China, it is thought that Google.cn is the only one that will cease to exist. The search engine that commanded roughly 36 percent marketshare has been the source of the dispute between Google and China since Google received several cyber attacks stemming from a university in China. As a result, Google retaliated by threatening to stop censoring search results from the site. Google assured its employees that they would have the option to transfer to other locations within the organization if they were affected.
According to Bloomberg, because of the way in which this situation was handled, if Google ultimately pulls out of China, it looks like there will be no turning back. Peter Lui, former financial controller for Google's Asia Pacific region, told Bloomberg, "The public manner in which Google announced its intention means it may have 'burnt bridges and they’ve burnt the Google brand in China,' Lui, 45, said yesterday. 'There is no way Google can ever come back.'"
This topic is getting pretty heavy, what do you guys/gals think? Leave your comments below.
Update: Monday the 22nd was supposed to be the day we would hear official news of Google's plans to "kick or stick." Instead, however, Google decided that their best option at the moment was to re-route all search requests for Google.cn to Google.com.hk (Google Hong Kong). Apparently, Hong Kong doesn't have the same censorship restrictions as China proper. Google is aware, however, that The Great Firewall of China could still put an end to this at anytime. There is a lot of political banter on either side about these events. To hear China's side, go here. To here Google's side, go here.