We had previously heard that Google may be announcing an exit from the Chinese market today. As it turns out, they’re taking a slightly different approach. The Google.cn domain now
to the uncensored Hong Kong version of the search engine. Google says they plan to retain most of their operations in China including R&D teams and sales.
The move seems to be a direct challenge to the Chinese government, which could easily block access to Google on mainland China. Google’s David Drummond claims the move is “entirely legal” and went on to say, “We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision.”
Beijing has not yet responded to Google’s action, but the government has become increasingly harsh over the weeks. Some analysts pointed out that Google’s plan could backfire, leaving their sites blocked even in Hong Kong. For now it’s a waiting game for the Big G.