These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered–combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web–have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, 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 Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.
[Source: Official Google Blog: A new approach to China] After being subjected to a large-scale security attack on dissident’s email IDs purportedly by the Chinese government, Google has finally woken up to the fact that a despotic regime intent on curbing freedom of speech is not business-friendly. Perhaps it helps matters that Google has never been able to garner a significiant market share in China, but nevertheless the public relations impact of this decision is definitely detrimental to Chinese interests. At least now Google can revert back to their avowed slogan of Do No Evil and quit making excuses for censoring information in its search results. Subah ka bhula and all that. The news has spread quickly across the interwebs. It remains to be seen whether they end up withdrawing from China altogether.