Google and China: The Next Step

I expect that the next step in this drama will happen sooner rather than later. It is Google's step, which will happen within these publicly-known constraints:

          1. Google has announced that is no longer willing to "filter" / censor the search results on its Chinese-based search engine, Google.cn

          2. It is illegal to operate a search engine in China without filtering the results.

The interactionof these forces has some obvious and dark implications for the future of Google.cn -- which today has its opening-screen homage to the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa on the 100th anniversary of his birth today (March 23 = "today" in China). What it means for Google's many other operations in China, and its employees there, we'll have to see -- based on what the company says and the Chinese government does in response.

My before-the-fact speculation about what might happen, and why, from a discussion this morning with Kerri Miller of Minnesota Public Radio here. Stay tuned for what comes next, soon. UPDATE: What came next came soon, here.
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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.

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