Google vs. China: Exit, or Pushed out?

A recent article in Foreign Policy has a different take on Google’s move to Exit China (previous blog entry here).  It claims that:

1. The day Google announced it might pull out of China, “Baidu, Google’s dominant rival in China, saw its Nasdaq stock shoot up $64.01, or 16.6 percent. China’s third- and fourth-place search engines, Sina and Sohu, witnessed their stocks increase 4.9 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively.”

2.  Google has been systematically forced out of China.

3. Google’s exit is just the latest in a long line of foreign Internet firms forced to leave the country on the shaky rationale of national security and censorship.

4. Youtube was similarly shut down in March 2009 as it had started becoming increasingly popular.  Now, Youtube’s direct Chinese competitors are the 8th and 10th most popular sites in China.

5. Numerous other internet sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and even Flickr have been pushed out to protect domestic web-sites/ applications.

So people everywhere may be rejoicing due to Google’s principled exit from China, but the article argues that this has in fact happened because of sustained pressure by the Chinese government to protect its own industries.

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