At the beginning of 2010, Google was the world's most popular online search engine. It offered targeted search results from billions of webpages. Available in 120 languages, the company operated domains in 144 countries. Google's market share in the global search engine market was estimated at 85%. Although Google was already present in China with its international search engine, google.com, the company had decided to enter the market with a domestically-run site in 2006. However, in order to be allowed to operate the search engine in China, Google had to accept the Chinese government's censorship regulations. With the launch of google.cn, the company hoped to improve its competitiveness against its biggest Chinese rival, Baidu, and to capture more share of this highly potential market. But although Google's market share steadily increased until 2009, it was still far from equaling Baidu's market leadership. The company also had various problems with Chinese authorities. Then, in December 2009, Google was the victim of highly sophisticated cyber-attacks aimed at acquiring personal information from the Gmail accounts of various Chinese human rights activists. Those attacks led Google to reconsider its business strategy in China. In January 2010, the company publicly announced that Google would stop censoring its search results in China and that the company had not ruled out the possibility of shutting down its operations in China in case the Chinese government did not accept "Google's new approach to China."
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|Publicada - 1 de nov. 2011