Officials, predictably, insist on social control when Google balks at censorship. But China may want the company more than it’s willing to admit and could be hoping for a quiet end to the hullabaloo.
… Google isn’t any ordinary foreign business. Its presence in China represented a connection to the leading edge of the Internet, and its departure raises doubts about the Communist Party’s ability to coexist in the technological age.
“They don’t want to admit how important Google is,” said James McGregor, a veteran business consultant and author based in Beijing. “If you look at the demographics of who is using it in China, it is the scholars, the lawyers, the young people, the businesspeople who need Google to be connected to the world.”