Mar 152010
 
 March 15, 2010  Featured News, Non-U.S., Online, Surveillance

Richard Waters in San Francisco and Kathrin Hille in Beijing report:

Google has drawn up detailed plans for the closure of its Chinese search engine and is now “99.9 per cent” certain to go ahead as talks over censorship with the Chinese authorities have reached an apparent impasse, according to a person familiar with the company’s thinking.

In a hardening of positions on both sides, the Chinese government also on Friday threw down a direct public challenge to the US search company, with a warning that it was not prepared to compromise on internet censorship to stop Google leaving.

Read more on FT.com

Similarly,Loretta Chao and Ben Worthen report:

A person familiar with situation said on Saturday that Google is likely to take action within weeks. Separately, Chinese authorities on Friday told local news Web sites that Google’s Chinese site is likely to close and that, if it does, the news sites will be required to use only official accounts of the situation, rather than publish stories from anywhere else, according to a person familiar with the order.

Read more in the WSJ.

And Mark Lee and Brian Womack report:

Google Inc. advertisers in China are being advised to switch to rivals such as Baidu Inc. and business partners are exploring alternatives as speculation grows the U.S. company will shut its Web site in the country.

“When we talk to clients, we have been pushing them in the direction of Baidu more,” said Vincent Kobler, managing director at EmporioAsia Leo Burnett in Shanghai, which buys advertising on behalf of customers. “The Chinese government has taken a firm stance, and Google, they have their own principles, and are going to shut down.”

Read more on BusinessWeek.

For its part, China is also reportedly telling Google partners that they must comply with censorship laws even if Google does not, Sharon LaFraniere reports in the New York Times.

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