U.S. State Department to Complain to China About Google Hack. Not That China’s Going to Listen.

Published on January 15, 2010
by John Paczkowski

300_chinacybercops308The Google-China debacle has finally spilled over into Sino-American relations. The U.S. State Department said today that it plans to demand a Chinese government investigation into the cyberattacks on Google’s (GOOG) computers, which the company claims originated in China.

“We will be issuing a formal demarche to the Chinese government in Beijing on this issue in the coming days, probably early this week,” said State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley. “It will express our concern for this incident and request information from China as to an explanation of how it happened and what they plan to do about it.”

What they plan to do about it?

Not much, if yesterday’s comments from Beijing are any indication. Consider this report from Xinhua News, the official press agency of Chinese government:

… cyber attacks are a commonplace issue across the globe even if countries have been making every effort to combat hackers.

On Tuesday, China’s largest Internet search engine Baidu, which is also Google’s major rival in the Chinese market, suffered an hacker attack that paralyzed its website for more than three hours.

Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer has said that “There are attacks every day …We’re attacked every day from all parts of the world and I think everybody else is too. We didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.”

So it’s far-fetched to blame China as a scapegoat for cyber attacks just because Google said something about that.

In addition, it’s quite natural for a multinational company to shift its market strategy or even pull out business from a certain area.

Since was launched in January 2006, it has seen a continuous rise in its market share in China. But it is still unlikely for Google to rock Baidu’s status quo as a superpower in the Chinese search market.

Baidu and Google took 63.9 percent and 31.1 percent of shares, respectively, of China’s Internet search market in the third quarter last year, according to data from Analysys International, a leading advisor on technology, media and telecom industry in China.

While Google’s global share is over 90 percent, according to web analytics company Stat Counter.

Till now, Google’s real intentions to quit China are still not clear.

There is no sense blowing things out of proportion and turning a business issue into a political or diplomatic dispute.

Above all, Google’s decision is no bigger than a corporate action, no matter where the company comes from or how powerful it is.

Clearly, Beijing has no plans to compromise–at this point, anyway.

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