It is said that Google didn't accept some laws in China which require Google to collect user information and should be available to the government at any time. This broke the relationship between Google and the Chinese government. One another reason could be it give space to local players like Baidu, Sina and Tencent to develop into billion dollars companies. Also, the government can keep better control of the information that circulates and easily monitor user data as they have full control on China-based services. When it comes to information about people, Google knows more about the life of the citizens of India or Kenya than the governments of India and Kenya will ever know. In one single click, they could have a picture of what a whole country is thinking, working on, hoping for, worried about, etc. The same data intelligence applied to companies and governmental institutions.
A Telecom engineer in Ghana is working for the government, and has been briefed on a governmental project to tax the local telecom companies not based on their self-declared accounting reports, but to implement national backbone routers data counter that will meter the data flow and exchange, and the telecom operators will be taxed based on the collected data. The project was at a very early stage, and has yet to be discussed with seniors department managers, but our young engineer would like to conduct a feasibility study and seek for potential solution providers. He went to Google and conduct several searches on the topic. From that very moment, Google knows exactly what is going inside the Ghanaian Minister of Telecommunication. Now apply the same logic to employees inside the Minister of Defense, Minister of Finance, Minister of Infrastructures doing searches on Google. They have a naked country, completly exposed to foreign espionage, because a foreign company knows everything about the intentions and early stages projects of the country.
No major country or any serious government could let a foreign company collects so much data on their citizens and strategic intentions and make them available to their government through secret courts orders. These are the reasons why China made it impossible for Google to operate on their soil and promoted a local search engine Baidu which has now more than 80% of the market. Not all countries have the resources to shield themselves from foreign espionage while using search engines and social media networks, but African governments are the most vulnerable. There are numerous solutions available to help governments, but the first step is to develop awareness about the danger of search engines and social medias in managing national security.