Google has made the announcement that it is not willing to censor its Chinese search engine – google.cn – any longer, after e-mail accounts of Chinese human rights activists were targets of a coordinated attack that happened in December. This move would result in closing the site and the offices.
Google launched google.cn in 2006, at that time they agreeing to the censorship and has been highly criticized for it over the years. Now, Google is said to be holding talks with the government in the next few weeks regarding operating an unfiltered search engine that will still abide by the law of that country. Although at this time no changes to filtering have been made. Google’s interest in China goes beyond just the search engine — Chinese wireless carrier are adapting a plan to sell the U.S. company’s Android operating system on their mobile phones.
Google also stated that it discovered accounts of US, China and European Gmail users, who are “advocates of human rights in China”, as well as about 20 other large companies from various industries, were “routinely accessed by third parties”.
There are around 340 million people online in China nowadays, compare that with 10 million just a decade ago. If Google does pulls out, market leader Baidu will have a clean run at the open market.