It seems like the world’s most used search engine, maybe leaving the country with the most people. Google announced late Tuesday afternoon, that after much thought the company is working closely with the Chinese government but may close down it’s website in the country very soon.
“The decision to review our business operations in China has been incredibly hard,” said Google’s David Drummond, “and we know that it will have potentially far-reaching consequences. We want to make clear that this move was driven by our executives in the United States, without the knowledge or involvement of our employees in China who have worked incredibly hard to make Google.cn the success it is today.”
Sometime in mid-December Google was attacked by a number of cyber attacks, coming from within the country. And while Google launched a full investigation, the company has found that nearly 20 organizations worldwide experienced similar attacks. They also noted that they believe the attacks weren’t against the company itself but against G-Mail users.
Drummond says, “we have evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. Based on our investigation to date we believe their attack did not achieve that objective. Only two Gmail accounts appear to have been accessed, and that activity was limited to account information (such as the date the account was created) and subject line, rather than the content of emails themselves.”
China’s Google is different from that of the US’s Google, since much of the web is controlled by the internet. The search engine giant says, they are no willing to help limit free speech.
“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.”
For the search engine to leave the most populated country in the world is astonishing, but understandable. The government is not likely to work with Google and stick to their strict guidelines. It should be interesting to see what happens within the next few weeks.