– Chinese authorities have begun informing companies using Google’s (NASD:  GOOG) search
services in the country that, despite Google’s stated intention to stop
censoring its search results, they must still comply with the country’s
censorship laws, The New York Times reported. Since a hacker attack on Google’s
Gmail service that originated out of China, Google announced it would no
longer self-censor its search results for Chinese users — as mandated by the
Chinese government.

The company has also said it may choose to completely exit
the country — or at least the Chinese search market — of which it currently
controls nearly 30%.

Many Chinese websites currently rely on Google to provide
search functionality, including popular Web portals and

Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports that Google has "drawn up detailed
plans" to close its Chinese search engine and is now "99.9 per
cent" certain it will go ahead with them.

A source told FT that senior
Google executives are "adamant" about ending search censorship in China,
and that the company has ruled out handing over control, or the entire business,
to a local partner.


Related Links:
(Financial Times)