March 22nd, 2010
03:31 PM ET

Google leaving China ... sort of

In a long-awaited announcement, Google said Monday that it will stop censoring search services on, its Chinese search site.

Google said it is now redirecting its Chinese users to Hong Kong site, which offers uncensored search results, according to its company blog.

"We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement," the company said in its blog post.

The company said it "very much hopes" that the government of China respects its decision, though it is "well aware" that the Chinese authorities could block access to its services for users within the country's borders.

Google will continue its wider business operations in China, including its ad sales business, though the search company conceded that the size of its sales workforce will be partially dependent on the ability of mainland Chinese users to access

In addition to search, Google generates revenue from an ad sales business in China, its Android mobile phone operating system and its Chrome browser business. It also runs a host of Web services in China, including e-mail service Gmail.

Analysts widely agree with Google's assessment that discontinuing its  search operations in China would have an "immaterial" effect on its revenue. had tens of millions of users in China, but was unable to control  more than about a third of China's search market as it struggled to beat the  tough competition of entrenched search rivals such as Baidu.

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soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Hillsboro

    What a brave decision from Google. I really respect this magnificient company which deal with this evil country. I don't understand why the US is just trying to make a few bucks with these commies and gave up so much of your intellectual properties of your own. Of course the US has its own interest too, but these chinese are no friendly to you after all. They have plots to kill our businesses and country in the future. We are the only country who stand up for their own people struggles, yet, when they are rescued and succeed, they will turn their back against us, look at the Tianeman students and how many of them came here for political rescue. We gave them so much money for free educations but in the end, they would and will return to China to damage us. I hope that we need not to be generous to them and give them free education here in the US. How many of them graduated here with our tax and return to china and help their own people to destroy us. CNN, please do the counts.
    I will urge the business community to invest to some where else around the world instead of depending so much in China. The money they make, they will buy weapon and go against us. Wake up people, don't be fool to these guys.

    March 22, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Peter

    wow Google said to leave China, it didn't. It just moved to another part of China. And many people on the net cheer for their move? Water must have gone into their brains. Chinese government get their censorship, Google can pat itself on the back for its "ethics" while keeping the bulk of their staff in China doing R&D.

    A happy medium between them is reached and both satisfy their own demand from their respective population. So in essence, nothing really is changed. Wow, what a waste of time.

    March 22, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ryoko

    Hillsboro's comment is so nave,apparently he hates china and its people, however, I could tell you most chinese people are peace-lovers, and turn to the contradiction between China and US, I;m afraid it has nothing to do with the people, it's just the two governments.

    I admit China is far away from freedom right now, comparing to US, our political environment is unsufferable, but many people, especially the youngsters with high education are trying to improve it through peaceful way.

    I like Google, and I think it's leaving is well done. Although regret, we are glad to see a company resisting the local government.

    What I can't accept is the obvious hostility in Hillsboro's comment, and I don't think his argument about 6.4agent is objective.

    March 23, 2010 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  4. pm

    hillsboro,spot on...Ryoko-he doesnt hate the chinese people just it's oppressive government and those chinese individuals who study engineering,medicine, technology and other specilaties where we excel-but then treacherously export the knowledge and themselves along with our education system but not our human rights values back to china to perpetuate their great leap forward. In contrast he loves the US. Ryoko i dont know where you live but if in Asia,the US or anywhere in the world, i suggest you wise up and start looking over your shoulder. Stop buying Chinese (norht Koreas,Iran's ally) made goods to save a dollar because not only are you most lkely supporting slave like labor and wage slavery but destroying our economy and manufacturing base as well as the worlds security.not to mention the economic colonization of Africa etc..

    March 23, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jim

    Much of what Google does is typically American – running other people's culture and customs like its own, not having the least sensitivity or sense of diversity. Whatever is not American is evil. Think about these things: distributing condomns, anti-semitism, access to porn (or escort services), sites of business scams,... and so on, widely accessible here. But, let this freedom stay in the U.S. please, the Chinese family doesn't want their kids exposed to it. Not that Chinese parents don't know this, they understand that the free world will win, but they just want to hold their kids in shelter and as long as they can. So, Google, please, be not crude but respectful. China's land is not your land.

    March 23, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. robert

    I am so tired of the one way street with the chinese government.

    We are by far their lragest trading partner.

    We should all try to stop buying as much Chinese products as possible.
    I know this wil be very hard.

    Their people are paid like slave laborers. Its not that we can build better products than them.
    We do. We just dont pay our people 3 dollars a day.

    If they dont open their markets up and stop stealing our technology, and hacking our firms
    computers we need to start to have a back bone. I am a speaking to Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton.

    They truly need us more than we need them. We should for once be smart, have a spine
    and tell them to open their markets up fairly to competition, let their currency rise so their products are fairly priced versus the worlds or face the music.


    It is our fault that our manufacturing jobs are leaving. The government should put a buy American program in place regarding their spending programs. Things to benefit our companies.Not other countries.

    Our next world war will be with Red China.

    Mark my words.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    I don't think China's government is truly concerned about censoring porn. If anything, its more concerned about censoring the media. Think about it. Google knows this. That is why I respect the decision Google has made. Google is not being crude, they are simply honoring their values as an American company.

    March 25, 2010 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  8. lzx704

    I suppose Google,thanks for this great company,although come from china,we need freedom to speak,but we had losted many right ,chinese peole like peace,the evil goverment is against the people,we are sadly

    March 25, 2010 at 3:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bob

    To those guys said "buy american", I have to say stupid and naive. You are talking about open market and no boundary all over the world, but what you are talking and doing? You guys only buy things "made in USA", not "made in China" or "made in Japan" or"made in Korea"? How do you explain the Japanese car in USA? How do explain the Boeing plane made by China? How do you explain your T-shirt or toys played by your kids are made in China? How do you explain the LCD TV is Samsung? It doesn't make sence to set the barricade to prevent the connection among the world. We need each other. Wake up, guys. You hated the evil government in China, OK, hate it. But don't be naive to look very ordinary Chinese individule who maybe live in USA or mainland China as evil too. I appreciate the Google's culture "don't be evil". I also hope you guys can really notice what is the true meaning of it. You are the pitty people to fear the things you do not understand and unknow. I understand your fear but I can't accept your attitude.

    March 25, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Reality checker

    Wake up and smell the coffee.
    If Google is the No.1 search engine in China, will they give up their businesses so they can do the "Right" thing? (if leaving China is the right thing at all, also, Hong Kong is part of China)
    Google is a good company, but, let's don’t give them more credit than they earned.

    March 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. brown


    March 25, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joe

    I love the fact that we live in a time when a corporation can stand up to a world power.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. xiaoxiang

    I come from China had just read your comments in the Chinese saying goes, someone else must bow their heads under the eaves, since Google is in China, then please abide by the rules of the game ....

    March 28, 2010 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  14. Josh

    To be fair to some of the comments shared above...i don't think that people are "applauding Google for leaving China" it was pointed out, they didn't technically leave China since, as we all know, Hong Kong is part of China. What is to be admired about their decision in the end is that they had a choice of
    1) Abide by the rules/demands of the Chinese government so that they could more easily get into the massive Chinese market
    2) Still focus on getting into the Chinese market while maintaining a level of integrity.

    While they have chosen a path of uncertain success, they are still focused on servicing that population. In the end it could all fail but they are still giving it a go...personally I respect that. I admire their integrity in this manner as well.

    Like it or not we live in a global market and with that companies such as Google, need to compete aggressively on that level to stay viable. I agree with so many of the comments on this post thus far in that Google should indeed be applauded (don't get me wrong...I am certainly not proposing that Google is perfect nor immune from actions that may show a lack of integrity). In this particular matter, I agree with the post from "Brown"...BRAVO GOOGLE!

    March 28, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. Nona

    agree with Peter (#2), What a waste of time and drama:)
    Google moved to another part of china. EVen if igoogle moved taiwan, it would be the same...
    Chinese consider taiwan as an angry little son who've had argued with parenths and left home...Someday SON will return to his parents...That's how chinese think....

    March 28, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |