Google first entered China in 2000,
but elected not to open an office in the country until 2005.
The company's hesitation made it lose out to other American-based
companies also looking to cash in on, but it quickly rebounded and
became the leading U.S. search company in the country.
to the company, Gmail and other Google services have undergone
countless attacks by unknown sources -- it seems the email
accounts of Chinese human rights activists were accessed and other
nefarious actions were performed on not only Google, but other tech
“In mid-December, we detected a
highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate
infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of
intellectual property from Google,” wrote Google Chief Legal
Advisor David Drummond on
the company's official blog. “However, it soon became clear
that what at first appeared to be solely a security incident--albeit
a significant one--was something quite different.”
"We have been briefed by Google on
these allegations, which raise very serious concerns and questions,"
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted to reporters. "We
look to the Chinese government for an explanation. She added
"the ability to operate with confidence in cyberspace is
critical in a modern society and economy," but the U.S.
government still doesn't have an exact stance on the issue.
to other western companies, Google adhered to Chinese government
policies, and has agreed to terms of service that would not be
accepted in North America and Europe. Google, Yahoo and
Microsoft all hope to have a large presence in China, but have
struggled to compete with Chinese Baidu search engine.
Google leaves China, Microsoft and Yahoo will desperately attempt to
stop those users from switching to Baidu. Microsoft disclosed
at the end of 2009 that China is the
most important search market it must focus on, as Google is the
No. 2 search engine behind Baidu's 63.9% control.