Google China's decision to move its main operations to Hong Kong has left its 600-plus employees on the mainland with an uncertain future. A senior member of Google China's sales team - whose size according to Google 'will obviously be partially dependent on the ability of mainland Chinese users to access Google.com.hk' - said his status was unchanged. 'I am still here. There are no changes yet,' he said. Google said yesterday it would retain its entire mainland research and development team, consisting of about 300 researchers and engineers. But Zhao Chenglong, founder and president of Finder Hunter, a headhunting company based in Beijing, said not everyone wanted to stay. Zhao has been in contact with some senior Google engineers since the company announced its intention to leave China two months ago. 'While two-thirds of Google China employees may prefer to stay, the rest are actively seeking opportunities elsewhere,' he said. 'To those who want to stay, Google is still a company with good pay, superb welfare and comfortable working environment; but to those who want to leave, Google has already lost a company's most important attraction for high-ranking talent - a future. 'Although Google headquarters in the United States have promised to keep the Chinese R&D team, they have not specified what will be researched and developed on the mainland. It's just a tactic for a smooth transition in my opinion because, fundamentally speaking, Google's backbone service is its search engine. If the search engines leaves, no matter how creative the Chinese engineers are, they will not be able to make good products, expand its market or generate profits. 'It will be no fun to work for Google any more.' Over the past two months, mainland media have reported that morale among Google China's employees has been low. They also reported many defections to Baidu, China's domestic search leader, as well as many Google employees submitting resumes to other technology firms. Google has on the mainland two research and development centres, sales and customer support staff and engineers working on its mobile Android platform and other initiatives. At the end of last year, Google had about 30 per cent of the mainland's US$1 billion search market by revenue. Analysts say it is not clear how Google China's advertising resellers will react to its decision to shift its China business to google.com.hk.