“It is the first time a company this size has made a stand like this. People are cheering Google,” said Jeremy Goldkorn, whose influential website, Danwei, has been blocked since last summer by China’s Internet filtering technology, popularly known as the Great Firewall.
Bei Feng, a blogger who has led a campaign to abolish the firewall, said losing Google would be a big blow. However, he and many others like him probably would use proxy servers to continue accessing the company’s products.
“I admire Google’s decision,” said Bei Feng, whose e-mail account has been hacked into in the past. “Obviously it is a huge loss for Chinese Internet users. Sometimes such a price has to be paid for the long term. It’s a huge slap in the face for the Chinese Communist Party. I think they will try to retaliate.”