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The Western media are obsessed with "Google's withdrawal from China" as if the company has disappeared from China altogether.
Google has not pulled out of China completely. It still has a range of business operations in China. It won't give up its market share in China so easily because China is a burgeoning economy and the world's largest Internet users' market. By simply directing google.cn to google.com.hk, the company claims to have taken a high moral ground but the truth is that it is still reaping benefits from China in advertisements and other business activities.
The company's decision to shut down google.cn is based mostly on commercial factors. It decided to leave the Chinese market after failing to take on Baidu. And by creating a stir before running away it has ensured that the renewed international focus on it would lift its sagging fortunes across the world.
The Western media portray Google as a preacher of Western values and democratic norms. But ultimately Google is a business entity, not a charitable organization, and hence whatever it says or does is aimed at profit. It is this pursuit of profit that explains why Google will never cut off its ties with China completely.
Hu Lin, Shenzhen via e-mail
(China Daily 03/31/2010 page9)