Google China Attack: Google Considers Google.cn Shutdown
Following an attack on Google China, during which the perpetrators tried to hack into the email accounts of Chinese, European and American human rights activists, Google is considering shutting down its operations in China. David Drummond, Google's Chief Legal Officer, stated that, while no email accounts were successfully hacked, the Google China attack constituted a theft of intellectual property and a disturbing instance of cross-industry online espionage.
Drummond went on to say that Google is no longer willing to run a censored version of their search and web services on Google.cn.
It's highly unlikely that the Chinese government would even consider an uncensored version of Google, so the search giant would have to be prepared to make good on its threat. Trafficwise, this wouldn't be the end of the world for Google, which only has around 14% of China's search traffic, and China-based revenue is about 2% of Google's estimated 2010 total.
Google said Tuesday the company and at least 20 others were victims of a "highly sophisticated and targeted attack" originating in China in mid-December, evidently to gain access to the e-mail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.
These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China.
Google's stock slipped after the announcement, while Baidu, a Chinese search engine, saw a stock jump.