Google threatened Tuesday to completely shut down its Chinese operations, after detecting evidence of a cyber-attacks originating in the country.
According to a post [Web Link Google's blog], it was determined last month that hackers had stolen intellectual property from the company, in a "highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure."
Additionally Google believes hackers were targeting Chinese human rights activists. As part of the investigation, though separate from the attack on Google, they reported finding evidence of third parties "routinely" accessing dozens of Gmail accounts in America, China and Europe of Chinese human rights advocates.
"These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China," read the post.
Though it may seem like a major political move for Google to pull out of the Chinese market, some reports say a withdrawal is in Google's business interests as well. [Web Link Marketwatch.com] reported Google's projected revenue in China for 2010 is around $300 million, only about one percent of its estimated $17.5 billion revenue in 2009.