By Ian Swanson - 01/13/10 03:33 PM EST
Google announced Tuesday that it could close its office in China and pull out of the country after hackers, possibly with the backing of the Chinese government, launched a sophisticated attack on Google’s Gmail service and infrastructure.
Google said it believed the hackers were trying to access the accounts of Chinese human rights activists.
Though Google dominates the search engine business in the U.S., Baidu is the market leader in China.
Google has had a series of run-ins with China’s government. In 2006, Google was criticized after it agreed to block certain web sites in return for being allowed to run a search engine service in China.