[FoRK] Google leaving China?

Michael Cummins michael at i-magery.com
Mon Jan 18 07:26:27 PST 2010

> Hilarity and Bedlam ensue.

More news:

Google probing possible inside help on attack

The sources, who are familiar with the situation, told Reuters that the
attack, which targeted people who have access to specific parts of Google
networks, may have been facilitated by people working in Google China's

Google China Employees Given Holiday Leave, Networks Being Scrutinized

The fact that Google employees are seemingly unable to log onto internal
systems could be a result of the internal security tests and scans, but
Google has apparently also asked China employees to 'relax at home' for an
unspecified time.

This one is unsourced and potentially full of poo (I found it searching
Google, heh) so take it with a grain of salt:


Translated from a Chinese article, and much simplified:

Immediately after Google announced its intention to leave China on its
official blog, everyone in Google China no longer had the ability to access
the code server. They only found this after going to work in the morning and
trying to access the home directory, and there were people writing code at
the time but could not proceed anymore. All this happened very suddenly, and
no one in Google China knew this was going to happen. 

In normal situations Google would not have to do this. But in this case,
Google could not trust Google China any more, because one (or many) of
Google China's employees (who would also work for the Chinese government)
have been stealing code and give them to the government. These people would
also be responsible for finding the Gmail accounts of political dissidents,
and probably finding Gmail's vulnerabilities used for hacking later. When
Google said it suffered from "theft of intellectual property", it wasn't
laying, except people probably thought differently.

The existence of Google China would threaten the entire Google's survival.
Even though China is such a huge growing market that Google definitely wants
to be part of, in this case Google just does not have an option. When Google
said that it will negotiate with the Chinese government to operate an
unfiltered search engine, it actually means that it will leave no matter
what, even if somehow the government allows that, Google cannot stay, does
not want to stay, cannot afford to stay.

Of course people expecting other foreign companies to follow suit and leave
China will be disappointed, as they are not in such a difficult situation as
Google, at least not yet.

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