From the April 5, 2010 issue of TIME Magazine
It's possible that Google's defiance of china on March 22 it stopped censoring its search engine there and redirected traffic to a Hong Kong site is linked to co-founder Sergey Brin's roots. His parents, Soviet Jews, emigrated from Moscow to the U.S. at the Cold War's height, and Brin has a keen awareness of anything that smacks of political censorship. Google, of course, knew about the compromises one must make to do business in China when it entered the market in 2006. But it seems that Brin decided this year that the company could no longer abide the level of censorship, and hacking, and e-mail pilfering that takes place behind Beijing's Great Firewall. The showdown comes at a time when the most important economic relationship on the planet is getting frayed, as Washington and Beijing swap accusations about trade protection and currency values. Google and other technology companies have long seen China as a key source of future success. But on free speech, trade and just about any other matter that companies care about, China plays by its own rules. As Google now knows.
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