Wow, this is actually a big deal. There are many aspects to this story which make it so compelling: one of the largest technology companies in the world versus one of the largest governments of the world.
There is a lot of hope in China, especially as the domestic market grows. Many American businesses have a lot to gain in this market, but what price has to be paid. The censorship issue was a tough one to swallow for Google, but they did do it. Are they being completely clear on their reasons for uncensoring now? There are also conflicting reports on Google’s market share. Are they losing or gaining ground?
Many interesting commentary articles here (NPR), here (Business Insider), and here (New York Times).
Many questions, but I will say if Google completely leaves China for good-natured reasons, I will have to applaud them. They will be leaving money on the table, without a significant replacement market. Maybe a company of this magnitude standing up to the Chinese Communist Party will open some eyes.
As an aside, in my work life I have been looking at the new Google Android mobile phone operating system. One of the markets that has really embraced the Android phones is China. One of (not all) the benefits of the Android OS is compatability with all that is Google. This move may hurt Android adoption in China.