Google has stayed tight-lipped over reports that it is about to announce it is pulling out of China.
Media reports claim an announcement is imminent.
Analysts say if Google were to withdraw, the biggest losers would be its millions of internet users.
“I think it will be hard to get used to being without Google in China. I usually use both Google and the Chinese alternative to look for things on the internet. Search results from Google are much more detailed, so I will be disappointed.” said one user.
Google is popular in China, but reports in the state-run media have been negative.
Some, like Joseph Cheng from Hong Kong’s City University, say the Chinese government is trying to stifle the debate over censorship:
“The criticism of cultural exports, or cultural imperialism is a kind of defence to justify the Chinese authorities’ censorship controls. And of course in dealing with the American government, the Chinese authorities will try to emphasise that this is only a commercial dispute and has nothing to do with Sino-American relations.”
Observers say Google’s withdrawal would open up China’s multi-million search market to more local firms.
The biggest beneficiary is likely to be domestic search market leader, Baidu.