Lex

Lex: Google v China

For Google, China is "truly immaterial", says a spokesperson for the company. At least, that is, when it comes to its direct business significance. But in terms of its broader political ramifications and the internal soul-searching it has caused, Google's involvement with China has been responsible for some of the hardest decisions the young company has faced. Late on Tuesday, Google finally drew a line in the sand. By declaring it will no longer censor results on Google.cn, the world's biggest internet company has set in train a confrontation with the Chinese authorities that could well lead to the closure of its local search service. Ben McLannahan analyses the motives for the possible move.