Google says it's "99.9 percent" sure it will close down its Google.cn web-search business in China rather than comply with government policies on internet censorship (primarily focused on squelching protests). The statement comes two months after the search giant first threatened to stop censoring search results for Chinese users, and days after it was rebuked for being "unfriendly and irresponsible." Is Google admirably living up to its "Don't be evil" slogan — or just screwing up its business?
Google's fighting the good fight: While the standoff did not force China to capitulate on censorship, says Greg Sterling in Search Engine Land, Google should still be congratulated for sticking with its "bold and uncompromising public position." By hurting its own interests to shine a light on China's "evil" censorship, Google is clearly obeying "its mantra."
"Google looks to shutter China search operation..."
Google missed its chance: This principled stand against censorship would have had "enormous" impact — if Google had followed through two months ago, says Ben Parr at Mashable. But thanks to its "indecisiveness," China won, and nothing will change. Besides, Google's plans to keep "the rest of its China pie" — Android and ad sales — further undercuts its stance.
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Google needs to go all the way: Google is "naive" if it thinks its non-search businesses will survive in China, says Bill Bishop in The Business Insider. The Chinese government won't forget the "damage" that even the belated closure of Google.cn will do to China's image in the eyes of both foreign businesses and its own middle class. So Google might as well stop filtering results now and "go out in a blaze of glory."
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