Saying it with flowers, freedom-of-speech advocates have delivered a floral thank you to Google at its headquarters in Beijing.
They are delighted the world’s leading Internet search provider has threatened to quit China, the biggest Internet market on the planet.
The company blames censorship and China-based cyber attacks on the e-mail accounts of human rights activists.
While the Chinese government has not been blamed directly by Google, Amnesty International is concerned.
“The report about the hacking and trying to get into e-mail accounts of human rights defenders is very worrying,” said Roseann Rife, Deputy Director of Amnesty’s Asia-Pacific Programme.
“We have noted, over the years, a number of attacks on Non-Governmental Organisations both inside China and outside China.”
China has more than 350 million web surfers. But its Internet market has been a thorny one, with companies having to adhere to strict self-censorship rules dictated by Beijing.
It is estimated that Google only earns a fraction of its revenue from the Chinese market so shutting up shop there would not be a major blow.
Google threatens to quit China over censorship