Google will likely be pulling the plug on by the end of the month. According to the web search giant, China's stringent censorship and the hacking of Gmail accounts have driven Google to relinquish 35.6% of China's search market.

Even though the Chinese search engine Baidu's 58.6% share of Chinese searches eclipses Google's 35.6% stake in China's search engine wars, Google's withdrawal is still a setback for the company. The company had announced in January 2010 that it would stop censoring searches on, much to the chagrin of the Chinese goverment. Relations between Google and China frayed this January when the Gmail accounts of human-rights advocates in China had been hacked. No one's explicitly pointing fingers at the Chinese government, but Google appears to be initiating the pull-out regardless.


[via Variety and Business Week]