This is a very critical juncture in the history of international business but it's not the first time a company has walked away from China. Levi Strauss & Co., 17 years ago did too, and returned. Funny thing, Levi's brand is currently made in China and they just opened their 501st retail store in Beijing last November. What happened in between? Take a look at this.
But this predicament is different -- far more public thanks to the Internet (go Google!) -- and will most likely bring foreign-policy implications. It will be interesting to see what happens when Google shuts off the valve in China on censoring search results and how fast China's government blocks or shuts down Google.cn, if at all.
In the course of determining what really happened, we will unveil more evidence of weird things going on.
Needless to say I admire and respect Google's bold move here (tough place to be but I always like to see people/companies take a public stand, exhibit backbone and show a strong sense of world good) and it's in line with this fine commentary, appropriately entitled, "Google Gets on the Right Side of History," written by Rebecca MacKinnon, a fellow with the Open Society Institute.
My feeling is you can't be part pregnant; and when you are Google, you most certainly can't be part-search engine in China.
We'll keep you posted.