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Monday, May 17, 2010

What’s the Current Situation Between Google and China?

Posted by @ 9:43 pm

google-chinaGoogle made international headlines earlier this year when they announced plans to leave China after an attack on the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. In response, Google decided to close their domain and redirect users to Hong Kong servers at

In recent months we haven’t heard much of an update on the situation in China, but now Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt has reported that the situation “seems to be stable”. Here’s what Schmidt had to say in a recent Bloomberg article:

“We maintain our business relationships and our engineering centers in China,” “Should the Chinese government become upset with us, become further upset with us, or what have you, they do have the ability to change this outcome.”

Google has said that they will continue to sell ads in China while avoiding censorship regulations by redirecting users to Hong Kong servers. The Chinese government does have the ability to block access to the Hong Kong site which would shut down Google searches from China completely.

Most believe that if the government decides to take this approach, it will force Google’s hand into leaving the country for good. The alternative outcome is that Google and China reach an agreement over censorship, but based on responses from both sides this seems very unlikely.

What do you think? Will Google leave China for good or is the current agreement likely to last for a while?

Matthew Elshaw Matt is a marketing professional at, an international search marketing firm. Matt's passion for online marketing began at university and has proved invaluable in steering product development and marketing initiatives at the company. Matt is a regular contributor to the ineedhits search marketing blog.

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Discussion (2 - comments)

I think it is a no-brainer. Google desperately want to keep a toe hold in the PRC, but without losing face, because all the indicators are that PRC is going to be *the* dominant economy in the world within a few years. And the PRC understand all about “Face”. So, I predict that nothing much more will be said by either side, and the status quo will quietly be allowed to continue – because it benefits both sides to allow it to continue.

By Steve - May 18, 2010

[...] last time we heard any news on the Google situation in China, the report was that the situation was stable and that Google would continue to re-direct users to the Hong [...]

By Google Forced into New China Strategy | ineedhits - July 5, 2010

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