Chinese People Dread Losing Google

Activists at once support search giant and feel betrayed
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2010 2:40 PM CDT
Chinese People Dread Losing Google
Women walk past the Google logo outside the Google China headquarters Beijing, China.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, file)

(Newser) – Google’s seemingly inevitable exit from China will have a profound effect on its people, with many saying they support the search giant’s stand yet feel abandoned. One human rights activist brought flowers to Google headquarters, as both a sign of support and a kind of funeral bouquet. “I used to believe that over time there would be more freedom,” he tells the Washington Post. “But I haven’t seen it so far. I feel lost.”

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Google has about a third of the country’s search market, but its departure—set for April 10, according to a China Business News report picked up by numerous Western sources—wouldn’t just affect its users. Its presence has kept competitors honest, forcing them to curtail questionable practices, like mixing ads with search results. “Without Google, our academic research will be seriously affected,” said one biologist. “If Google is blocked, we will see nothing but darkness.” (Read more Google China attack stories.)

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