A report by China Business News today indicates that Google may have set a hard date of April 10th to
shut down their Chinese operation
. CBN also reports that an official announcement may come on March 22nd. Google is still remaining tight lipped on the matter.
The Google/China dispute started in January when Google disclosed that it had been part of a hacking attack from within China. Combined with the state imposed censorship, Google said the market was perhaps more trouble than it was worth. We’ve been hearing reports of ongoing talks, but in recent days more rumors have emerged pointing to a Google exit.
Former Google Asia employee Peter Lui says if Google leaves, they might not be able to get back in. “[Google] burnt bridges and they’ve burnt the Google brand in China,” said Lui. This is all still rumor, but come Monday if there is a Google press conference scheduled, we’ll know we’re on to something.