Google's China move followed by ... hardly anyone else
Google’s announcement last week that it was shutting down its China Web search site has been largely followed by silence from the U.S. high-tech industry.
Two domain name registrars – companies that host Web sites in China – announced similar moves. Go Daddy said it would stop taking new accounts on its .cn domain business. Well before Google's announcement, Network Solutions said it would reroute traffic to Hong Kong, effectively shutting down its China-based site.
But otherwise, most American businesses say they are committed to freedom of expression online but have largely stayed their course.
Intel said it isn’t changing business plans in China. Microsoft, which competes in the search market there with Bing, is staying too: “As we continue to offer a global search service, we regularly communicate with governments, including the Chinese, to advocate for free expression, transparency and the rule of law. We will continue to do so,” said spokeswoman Christina Pearson.
Other companies said they don’t have operations to shut down, though some say they count Chinese citizens as users or have stakes in online businesses based there. Yahoo said that after it sold its China business in 2005 to Alibaba, it gave up operational control over the search business there. It still retains 39 percent stake in Alibaba. AOL also said it no longer has operations in China and that they shut down their Hong Kong business last January as part of their overall corporate restructuring. Facebook doesn’t have employees in China, nor does it run servers there. But it does have a large number of Chinese and is regularly censored by the Chinese government.
Google has attracts kudos from newspaper editorial pages, like The Post, for taking a stand against censorship by the Chinese government. It is also losing mobile, software and other partners in China for its decision.
March 29, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories: Google , International
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