A little over a month ago, Google delayed the launch of two Android phones in China. Now, the company appears to have followed up that move by deciding to cancel an Android developer event in Beijing.
We should note that Google’s claimed no such event was ever planned; according to corporate representatives, gatherings in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan are all that were scheduled to take place in Asia next week.
Still, both Reuters and the IDG News Service have heard from sources that Google was supposed to meet with developers in Beijing about the Nexus One and Android, and that due to the ongoing dispute over hacking and censorship, the company called the event off.
People who support Google’s stand in China should find this encouraging. Earlier this month, Google struck a deal with a semiconductor company that works with Chinese handset manufacturers, seemingly softening its stance. The cancellation of an Android event in China represents a return to form.
Of course, the matter’s hardly been resolved. We may see quite a bit more back-and-forth before Google either leaves China for good or gives in and compromises its principles on free speech.