Google Took A Principled Stand On China.
I doubt it.
Ask yourself this… What is it that has changed since Google entered the Chinese market in 2006?
Google knew what they were getting themselves into: dealing with censored results, government interference, corporate espionage (sanctioned by the state), and much much more. Not to mention having the entire deck stacked from the onset against all foreign companies (in China, you get used, striped, and then disgarded in favor of the home-grown competitor).
So a dozen Gmail accounts get compromised and the finger points to China. A few networks get breached.
How many Gmail accounts where compromised by government interest in the rest of the world? How many times did a corporate network get compromised by a competitor or a foreign interest? This is standard-operating-procedure in big business and politics.
Let’s try this on for size…
1. Google enters the Chinese market.
2. Chinese market/government favors own state side Baidu.com
3. Google breaks even or loses money on investment. Marketshare does not come.
4. Google realizes how difficult things are in China for “outside” companies.
5. Google, not being able to hack it here, to save face and score some points, uses its PR machine to a) start the process of pulling out of the market, b) make themselves look good doing it, and c) take advantage of a whole lot of people in the process.
And what do you know, it fits!
I’ll concede this could be a bluff to get something they want or there is much more going on that we have not been made aware of.