[...] new reports have surfaced that would indicate that China has unilaterally blocked all three major search engines in China and is redirecting all requests to Baidu.
Listing some things the players had to do to "get into" the Chinese market (self-censor, help political opponents to get convicted) I wonder:
So… was it worth it? [...] how far further will these companies have to go now to get favorable treatment?
What puzzles is me is that both Yahoo and Google (I didn't follow Microsoft in this area) chance so much good PR against bad PR in return for ... nothing. Google self-censors in China but has no hard guarantees that it will receive anything in return. Likewise Yahoo who, under the guise of being a law abiding company, sold out its "soul": there is no guarantee it will get them anything.
Was or is there the hope that being sweet to the Chinese government would get them favorable treatment or at least let them play the game? If not hope, were there hints, verbal promises?
In either of those two (hope, promises), how can you build on a good-faith situation with a government which demonstrates it doesn't have such a thing?
Also, does China shoot itself in the foot with its behavior? Are they by their actions today doing more to change Google/Yahoo's company policies than disgruntled voices here can ever do?
This is a darn interesting development.