Stalemate Between Google & China Now Just Getting Stale
Not since the year-long courtship between Yahoo and Microsoft have I wanted two sides to just DO IT ALREADY!
What am I talking about? China and Google.
For the love of my RSS stream, either pull out or make-up–this is getting old! The latest? Google is "99.9 percent" likely to shut down its Chinese search engine–and try to serve China from outside of the country.
The signs that Google was on the brink of closing Google.cn, its local search service in China, came two months after it promised to stop bowing to censorship there. But while a decision could be made very soon, the company is likely to take some time to follow through with the plan as it seeks an orderly closure and takes steps to protect local employees from retaliation by the authorities, the person familiar with its position said.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government is sending a message that it will in no way yield to the censorship demands of Google. In fact, it’s busy telling Google’s Chinese partners that they should start preparing for Googlegeddon–aka, life without Google.
Google has a widespread network of Chinese partners that have set up their Web sites to link to Google’s Chinese-language search engine. The government’s warning was a reminder to operators that they are responsible for any content on their sites, even if it is provided by a third party like Google. Those companies could switch to services that are more accommodating to the government, like Baidu, the search engine that holds the dominant share inside China.
I’ve used the analogy the unstoppable force against the immovable object before, but this battle takes it to a whole new level. Unfortunately, Google’s fighting this fight on its back foot. I don’t see China opening up a can of censorship worms, simply to accommodate an American search engine. Do you?