Skip to main content To Be Shut Down: “99.9 Per Cent” Chance

Sometime in December 2009, Google fended off a “sophisticated and targeted attack” in China, the goal of which seemed to be to access the accounts of Chinese human rights activists.  This attack, and other attempts at the surveillance of human rights activists in China that were revealed during Google’s investigation into the attack, lead Google to announce a change of policy.

From a January Google Blog post:

We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on, 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. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down, and potentially our offices in China.

Well, as things so often do with large governments, a few weeks has become a few months, and yesterday, the Chinese minister for industry and information technology confirmed that if Google violated Chinese law it would be considered “unfriendly,” “irresponsible,” and “would have to bear the consequences.”

According to the Financial Times, whose source is “familiar with the company’s thinking,” Google is now preparing to close

The FT’s source says that the company remains “adamant” about ending censorship, and is also unwilling to hand over management of to a local entity.  Though will be shut down, Google will keep it’s other Chinese operations going.  These include a “research centre in Beijing and a sales force that sells advertising on the Chinese-language search service, based outside China, to advertisers inside the country.”

The full Financial Times article can be found here.

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Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.