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Google China Has Called the Movers: Reports

Whatever talks Google has had with the Chinese government have apparently gone nowhere

Google's reportedly admitting that it's met somebody that's bigger, tougher and even more dominance-minded than it is, namely the Chinese government, which isn't going to let a little thing like Google leaving the country come between it and a censored Internet.

Whatever talks Google has had with the Chinese government have apparently gone nowhere.

The Financial Times has it from "a person familiar with the company's thinking" that Google is 99.9% certain to shut down its Chinese search engine and has drawn up a detailed evacuation plan.

The Chinese government, meanwhile, in a "here's your hat what's your hurry" public warning Friday told Google that if it imagines it can run an uncensored search engine even for a moment, well then, "that would be unfriendly, that would be irresponsible, and they would have to bear the consequences."

The New York Times says the government also told Google's web partners to have backup plans in hand in case Google stopped censoring its search.

Google's got to worry about reprisals on its Chinese staff and is still trying to keep some kind of footprint in the Chinese market for its other products.

Google threatened to exit the country on January 12 after its corporate servers were attacked and IP stolen.

According to Beijing-based Analysys International, it has roughly 36% of the Chinese search market, which doesn't add up to much in the way of revenue. Baidu, its local rival, has 58%. There are 400 million Chinese connected to the Internet, making it the biggest Internet market in the world.

The Wall Street Journal, which thinks Google will vacate the premises in a few weeks, reports that the government is cracking down on stories about Google leaving to quash any appearance of local support. It says media outlets have been told to carry only official stories when Google goes.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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