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Google's retreat sparks hot debate

By Zhao Chunzhe and Uking Sun
Updated: 2010-01-13 15:41
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Chinese Internet experts have expressed worry and doubt after Google announced that it was planning to pull out of China.

If Google’s search engine retreats from the Chinese market, it would be a loss for both Chinese netizens and the domestic search engine market, said Fang Xingdong, a Chinese Internet expert, cited by sina.com.cn.

Fang, the founder of Chinalabs.com and blogchina, is pessimistic about the outlook of Google’s retreat.

"If there is no competition in China’s search engine industry, Baidu cannot develop well in the future," Fang said.

"I use Google most for searching, especially for non-Chinese information and in-depth. Even Baidu is using some of Google’s business model," he added.

"The retreat may be temporary, because China’s market is too big to quit. Since Kai-fu Lee left his post in Google, the company seems to have different voices in its direction," said Qu Xiangdong, president of an IT market research and consulting company CCW Research.

"Google can run its Chinese advertisement business by agencies, without any operation offices," Qu added.

Tang Jun, the former Microsoft China CEO,commented that "The decision is not a big deal for Chinese netizens, but this will be the most foolish decision in Google's history, To give up China means to give up half of the world."

Google.com is said to be considering a full retreat from the Chinese market.

China’s search engine industry totaled 6.95 billion yuan ($1.01 billon) last year. Baidu.com made 63.1 percent of the number, while Google.com took 33.1 percent in the market, iResearch said.