Can China live without Google?

BEIJING: Google’s decision to withdraw from China showcases a war between the biggest search engine company and the biggest Internet market in the 

world, and questions are being raised in China if they can survive without the giant.

Google’s decision will potentially cut off the country’s 400 million users, the world’s biggest Web audience, but some opinions in the country suggest that the loss may not mean “darkness”, as the western media is putting it.

These opinions also suggest that Google does not “dominate” Chinese people’s lives, and local search engines, including Baidu, can possibly take over in future.

“I’m not sure if Google knows that its arrogance can easily remind the Chinese people of the “big powers” who cracked open China’s door by warships and cannons in the 19th century. The reason those invaders could make the Qing government sign unfair treaties is that they owned advance weapons that China didn’t have,” an opinion piece in China Daily said.

“Google didn’t understand that they had been on the road of the big powers again. The only difference was military weapons in the past and Internet service today,” it added.

The opinions further highlight that “Google has challenged the Chinese government’s sovereignty by demanding the government accept Google’s presumed definition on opening up”, adding that “China has always been in a developing mode that shows no signs of stopping.”

Meanwhile, Ed Burnette, a columnist from adnet.com under the Columbia Broadcasting System Corp (CBS) said it was “a pity and an avoidable mistake” for Google to retreat from China.

He also believes that it is “arrogant thinking to assume that we know what’s best for China, and our values can still work well in that very different culture; and it’s an ignorant idea to believe threats and ultimatums can bring positive results, especially from such proud and sufficient people.”

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