Earlier this week Eric Schmidt said he expected Google’s negotiations with China to wrap up “soon.”
That’s certainly possible, but the latest statements coming from the Chinese government suggest Google will be packing its bags and leaving the country.
China’s Minister of Industry and Information Technology told Google to follow its rules or “bear the consequences.”
WSJ: At a press conference Friday, Li Yizhong, Minister of Industry and Information Technology, was asked by a reporter how China would react if Google does stop censoring Google.cn. “I hope Google can respect Chinese rules and regulations,” responded Mr. Li, whose ministry is one of several that regulates China’s Internet. “If you insist on taking this action that violates Chinese laws, I repeat: you are unfriendly and irresponsible, and you yourself will have to bear the consequences.”
In the weeks since Google’s statement, Chinese officials have repeatedly reiterated that it and other foreign companies operating in China must follow the country’s rules. But no official at Mr. Li’s level has publicly gone as far as he did Friday in indicating that Google’s planned move would be seen as a violation of those rules. Continue →