Page last updated at 17:00 GMT, Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Should Google pull out of China?

Google China home page

Internet giant Google says it may end operations in China after hackers targeted Chinese human rights activists' e-mail accounts.

The company did not accuse the Chinese government directly but said it was no longer willing to censor its Chinese search engine

BBC News website readers and readers of BBC have been getting in touch with their views. Below is a selection of the comments we have received.



The Google China story is being discussed on message boards, on twitter and in the blogosphere. One Chinese blogger says he fully supported Google's decision.

'I fully support Google's decision.'
Michael Anti

My wife and daughter are Chinese and keep insisting on using Baidu as their chosen search engine. I have to run weekly security scans on their laptop as I believe Baidu are trying to install "spyware" on it.
Brian, Blackpool

That is not a big deal, just like Spielberg pulls out of Olympics. What is the future for Google in China? More clean web without Google.
Xin, Beijing

Internet should not be regulated in the first place, it is our step towards a globalisation goal. It is the major way that world should be progressing. Control and restriction is a method of the past that does not work currently. If a country would like to progress like the rest of the world, it would have no other choice. We should not take a step back.
Matthew, Singapore

Sadly, Google is not good enough and its searching results are not as good as Baidu in China. Of course, the former does great in English content, but the latter has more tech advantages in Chinese searching. People in China feel that this is not just a censorship problem, but also shows at least some arrogance from a giant Western company. However, I think Google should realise that without them, the Chinese won't feel any big loss from their disappearance, because most of us prefer to use Baidu.
Chinese, China

China practices the most severe form of trade protectionism when it accuses others of doing it. They block the internet, crackdown on this and that, or sue other companies. This is in reality Chinese communist party manipulating internet companies to achieve trade protectionism. I am wondering why Google didn't protest earlier.
Edward Chen, "Sydney Shanghai Chicago"

Google advocates freedom of information flow, which I fully support; but it talks as if it is always correct, which I don't like. Google should be aware that Baidu is second to none technically, it has everything (except Google earth); So, if Google pulls out of China, it means Google is short-sighted, and stupid, and it will be a blow to the free flow of information in China.
Hehe from China

It will be very sad for ordinary Chinese people here. I actually am in China but using proxy server in US in order to add my comment in BBC English site. I respect Google's courage to say that and stand out. No matter what the real intention of that, it is great opportunity to test China's authority. But Google does take a big gamble for that. Good luck to Google. By the way, in China the top 20 websites people cannot access include Facebook, YouTube, and Wiki.
Haiwen Zang, London

Given China's (problematic but improving) standard of education, censorship of hostile information from outside is necessary for her peace and development. Anyone not willing to do so should just leave instead of being kicked out.
Q, China

I am absolutely amazed the overwhelming outcries against the Chinese state in the name of freedom for the Chinese people. I am a Chinese, travelling between the UK and China. I do not feel particularly oppressed when I am in China, maybe that is just the way I was brought up.
Yu, UK/China

This is not the first time Google threatens to pull out of China. I don't think censorship is the main reason. The main reason is that its market share is very small, it is no match to Baidu (the Chinese search engine), it can't make money, so it wants to pull out. Censorship and cyber attack are just a pretext.
Piao, Germany

There is no concrete evidence to suggest that Google has been attacked by the Chinese government. But judging from what the government has been doing - the setting up of the so-called Golden Shield and the Green Dam software - all this shows that it is very afraid of the internet. If the government is there to serve the people, why is it so afraid of freedom of speech? What's wrong with giving people more freedom? Let's reason

I am very concerned about Google's reason for pulling out of China now. If it's against their principles, why did they agree to put up with the Chinese government's censorship in the first place?
Stephen, UK

If one could make money, one wouldn't withdraw no matter how serious the censorship is. But if one can't make money, then one has to go. This is all driven by money and profit. The rest is make-believe.
Driven by profit

It's very interesting how this Google story is reported over here. Google did this because it has problems in China, and in order to have a graceful way out, it is using the old story. It is quite annoying that they blame the Chinese government control for their decision. This is nothing new.
Rush, London

If there was fair competition in China, would Google still leave? Some readers think Google wants to leave China because it is not doing well. They sound like they have cheated in the exam and they feel proud. Google's leaving will benefit Baidu the most. Baidu will expand and consolidate their dominance in China, and the consumers will be the victims.
Johan, Brussels

I think it's because Google is not doing well in China. Why can Baidu put up with the censorship? If a company, wherever they are from, openly goes against the government, it will inevitably result in a dead end for the business. If Google wants to survive in China, it has to have products suitable to the Chinese taste, otherwise, they have to leave.
Teny, China

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