Google '99.9%' Certain to Pull Out of China

Tiananmen Square GoogleMore news on the Google / China feud, here are some excerpts from ft.com:

"Google has drawn up detailed plans for the closure of its Chinese search engine and is now '99.9 per cent' certain to go ahead as talks over censorship with the Chinese authorities have reached an apparent impasse, according to a person familiar with the company’s thinking.

In a hardening of positions on both sides, the Chinese government also on Friday threw down a direct public challenge to the US search company, with a warning that it was not prepared to compromise on internet censorship to stop Google leaving."

Things are definitely starting to heat up. Here's another quote:

"On Friday, Li Yizhong, minister for industry and information technology, said: 'If [Google] takes steps that violate Chinese laws, that would be unfriendly, that would be irresponsible, and they would have to bear the consequences.'

One person close to the search company, meanwhile, said that its senior executives remained 'adamant' about ending the censorship. The company has also ruled out keeping the search service going by handing majority control, or even the entire business, to a local player, this person said.

Google’s executives have made it clear that they still hope to stay in the country, whatever the fate of Google.cn. 'It’s very important to know we are not pulling out of China,' Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, told the Financial Times at the time. 'We have a good business in China. This is about the censorship rules, not anything else.'"

What a wild ride, I can't wait to see what happens next!

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