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Google Leaves China

Hindustian Times - In New York, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said the “story’s not over yet”. In Beijing, an official spokesman said Google was “totally wrong”. And in the Chinese capital’s Silicon Valley, youngsters left flowers at the Google building.

Late on Monday night, the Internet giant shut its Chinese website and shifted its search engine services to uncensored Hong Kong after two months of confrontation with Beijing over censorship and alleged hacking attacks. But those rerouted to Hong Kong still couldn’t access sensitive websites as these were blocked by Chinese filters.

“The Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement,” Google’s chief legal officer David Drummond wrote on a blog post — inaccessible in Beijing on Tuesday. “We are well aware it could at any time block access to our services,” he said.

Google’s bold censure of the business environment in the world’s number three economy — and the biggest online market of 384 million netizens — left the fate of its future China operations in doubt.

The NYT said China’s biggest cellular communications firm, China Mobile, may “under government pressure” cancel a deal that placed Google’s search engine on its mobile Internet home page. China Unicom, the second-largest mobile player, was said to have “delayed or killed the imminent start of a cellphone based on Google’s Android platform”. Read more.

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