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Google pullout threat 'a pressure tactic'

[ 2010-01-14 11:22]     字号 [] [] []  
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Google's threat to pull out of China over what it claims to be cyber attacks has left millions of Chinese users concerned - and analysts described the move as the company's strategy to put pressure on the Chinese government.

Google - the world's largest search engine - said in a statement yesterday that it is considering exiting China after the company had been hit in December with major cyber attacks that it believes originated in the country.

It is not clear whether users in China, including many foreigners, would continue to access services such as Gmail and Google Map, should the company shut its service.

David Drummond, Google's chief legal officer, said in an unusual statement posted online that the company had detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack from China that resulted in the theft of the company's intellectual property.

"These attacks ... led us to conclude that we review the feasibility of our business operations in China."

He said Google will no longer continue censoring results on Google.cn, a Chinese-language website it launched in 2006, and is discussing with the Chinese government the possibility that it operate an unfiltered search engine within the law.

"We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China," he added.

The statement marks a shift in the company's China strategy for the past five years, which is to provide censored results under Chinese law through its domestic search engine in exchange for a presence in the world's largest online population.


Google started a Chinese-language search service as early as 2000 but the company did not have a significant presence in the country until it established a China team in 2005 and launched Google.cn the following year.

Google's possible retreat from China has prompted the company's 700 China staff to fear for their jobs.

"At a general meeting on Wednesday, we were told that Google might quit China, and all of us feel very sad," said an employee with Google's Beijing office on condition of anonymity.

Drummond's post also said Google would try to negotiate with the Chinese government for more favorable operating conditions in China.


1. Why have Google threatened to pull out of China?

2.When did the attack take place?

3.When was Google.cn launched?


1. cyber attack.

2. December.

3. 2006.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Google pullout threat 'a pressure tactic'

About the broadcaster:

Google pullout threat 'a pressure tactic'

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.