The Chinese people, for the most part, have been unaware of what the government does not let them see. Never before has the government, in its regulation of internet content, cut off access to a website regularly used by so many of its own citizens.
If Google leaves China, it will be opting to do so at a time when it is gaining scale in the largest and fastest-growing Internet market in the world. This is no minor matter even for a company of Google's size.
Baidu is often described in the press as China's "home-grown" internet portal. But its stock trades on the NASDAQ exchange. And it is today majority-owned by institutional investors with names like Fidelity and Morgan Stanley.