The search giant said it would stop censoring results to its Chinese users after hackers targeted the email accounts of Chinese human rights activists in January.
It said it was a “sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China” and was no longer willing to censor its Chinese site’s results, as the country’s government requires.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Google will announce its withdrawal from the Chinese market as early as today, with its exit date expected to be 10 April.
Following the cyber-attacks, Google was supported by rival internet giant Yahoo, which released a statement reading: “We stand aligned that these kinds of attacks are deeply disturbing and strongly believe that the violation of user privacy is something that we as internet pioneers must all oppose.”
However Alibaba, a Chinese etail group in which Yahoo has a 40% stake, said Yahoo shouldn’t have aligned itself with Google “given the lack of facts in evidence”.
Google established a Chinese office in 2006.
This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk