According to the Wall Street Journal, Google has re-engaged with China around its ability to continue operating its number two search engine in the country in an “unfiltered” way. The Chinese have given no public indications that they will permit this in the country, which is ruled by state control of speech and media.
The WSJ reports:
Google Inc. representatives are scheduled to resume discussions in coming days with Chinese officials about the fate of Google’s China business, said people briefed on the matter . . . The schedule and the status of the talks, which are being picked up after a break for the Chinese New Year holiday, are unclear.
This news of resumed negotiations comes against the backdrop of new evidence that connects the hacking incident that triggered Google’s threat to pull out of China with the Chinese government itself. The government has strenuously denied any involvement in the hacking incident.
Google would clearly like to remain in China, the world’s largest mobile and PC internet markets. However Google will probably remain in China in at least some capacity (e.g., R&D) even if it cannot negotiate a formal deal with the Chinese government to operate an uncensored search engine.