I didn't think it was possible, but several media reports over the weekend claim that Google
This doesn't mean that the world's leading online advertising company will be forgetting about the world's most populous nation entirely. It will still try to attract visitors from mainland China externally, despite the challenges of breaking through the great firewall of China.
Google is tired of whitewashing its results in China, and trying to provide balance from the outside is a noble pursuit. Attempting to counter internal propaganda is reminiscent of Radio Free Europe and -- more recently -- Radio Marti fueled by Cubans in exile.
The rub for Big G is that renegade broadcasters don't have profit as an incentive. Google is going to score some serious style points with human-rights activists worldwide, but it's not going to pad its pockets.
The Chinese government is already warning Google partners -- including SINA
This doesn't mean that search dies in China if Google does close up shop internally. Baidu
Naturally we will have to wait and see if the unnamed sources that have reached out to this morning's Wall Street Journal -- and Financial Times over the weekend -- are right.
Since Google's actions in China have commanded global attention, expect the world's top search engine to make a splash on the way out -- if it does in fact leave.