Google's China move leads few to change course

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Google's China move leads few to change course

Google's announcement last week that it was shutting down its search site in China has largely been followed by silence from the U.S. high-tech industry.

Two domain name registrars -- companies that host Web sites in China -- announced similar moves. GoDaddy said it would stop taking new accounts on its .cn domain business. Well before Google's announcement, Network Solutions said it would reroute traffic to Hong Kong, effectively shutting down its China-based site.

Apart from those firms, most American businesses have said that, while they are committed to freedom of expression online, they plan to stay the course.

Intel said it isn't changing business plans in China. Microsoft, which competes in the search market in China with Bing, is staying, too. "As we continue to offer a global search service, we regularly communicate with governments, including the Chinese, to advocate for free expression, transparency and the rule of law," said spokeswoman Christina Pearson. " We will continue to do so."

Yahoo said that after it sold its China business in 2005 to Alibaba, it gave up operational control over the search business there. It still retains 39 percent stake in Alibaba. AOL also said that it no longer has operations in China and that it shut down its Hong Kong business in January as part of its overall corporate restructuring. Facebook doesn't have employees in China, nor does it run servers there.

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