Google’s China Loss is Microsoft’s Gain?

by admin March 24, 2010 at 8:00 am

As the biggest name in web services pulls out of China, the players left behind are probably feeling pretty good. Those remaining include Microsoft, but the market isn’t wide open for them by any means.

The Google exodus from China began when Google announced their servers had been hacked, most likely by agents of the Chinese government looking for information on dissidents. According to Google, the hackers also got source code that could be used for further attacks. And, Google wasn’t the only company attacked; Google claimed that more than 30 companies were targeted, and Intel later confirmed that they were attacked as well.

Just as with the United States or Europe, companies operating inside a country are subject to its laws and need to comply with official requests for information. Google was doing this, perhaps grudgingly, including censorship when required. This apparently wasn’t enough for the Chinese government — or at least parts of it — that decided hacking was more expedient. Whatever the details, Google seemed to feel that it couldn’t operate inside China when its government felt it didn’t need to follow its own laws. Although Google has set up Chinese operations in Hong Kong, the Chinese government predictably blocked the new site within a day.

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