Google: We aren’t leaving China

I suspect Brin got into some hot water with the board over his surprising remarks earlier in the week that bordered on an apology for betraying the company’s principles with its censored China search engine. Here’s what they’re saying now.

Google Inc. is committed to doing business in China despite criticism the company has faced for abiding by Chinese government censorship restrictions, co-founder Sergey Brin said this week.

On Tuesday, after a session with several U.S. senators to discuss telecommunications legislation, Brin made comments that prompted some journalists to speculate Google intended to change or eliminate its operations in China.

In fact, he reiterated Google’s intention to move ahead with its site — a version of the leading Internet search engine that censors thousands of sites according to Chinese standards — as well as its global site.

Brin told a small group of invited journalists: “I think it’s perfectly reasonable to do something different. Say, OK, let’s stand by the principle against censorship and we won’t actually operate there”.

But he then added: “That’s an alternative path. It’s not the one we’ve chosen to take right now”.

Brin, who serves as a co-president of Google, said users in China have two options — slower speed search which is uncensored at, or faster search, with limits set by Chinese authorities at

“If you are a normal Chinese user and you want to use Google, just go to and you actually won’t get good service. Eventually you will go to,” Brin said.

Bad choices, I’m afraid.

The Discussion: One Comment

Ah, the always powerful PR tactic of arguing in the alternative. Let’s see, Brin tells everyone Google made a mistake in China and then Google starts having technical difficulties there. Then Google says we are in China to stay and everyone know can say that staying betrays Google’s ethos because Brin said it did. Seems Google’s best PR would be to just keep their collective mouths shut.

June 9, 2006 @ 7:16 am | Comment

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