News that Google is considering pulling out of the fastest growing consumer market on the planet would leave the Chinese domestic internet with one powerful search engine for travel products.
The search giant says it will be forced to change its current strategy in China if a series of so-called cyber attacks continue on the GMail accounts of domestic human rights activists and those outside of the country sympathetic to their cause.
Alongside the wider economic and diplomatic implications of such high level shenanigans (US secretary of State Hillary Clinton has already waded into the row) is the impact on the burgeoning travel scene in China.
Google damaged its holier than thou ("Do No Evil") image when it entered China under what many considered to be highly controversial terms in 2006 - limiting access to natural search results for topics such as the Falun Gong organisation and events in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Officials now say that if the cyber attacks continue or go unexplained then it will be forced to remove the Chinese government-requested ban on controversial subjects - a move which would no doubt anger the host and effectively see it blocked from the web.
According to the BBC, Google stood to make around $600 million from its Chinese operations in 2010 - a sizeable figure but one it is clearly willing to risk.
Google currently shares search duties - but is not as big - with local engine Baidu.
What Google does provide is organic (albeit, somewhat restricted depending on the topic) listings as well as paid keyword - as opposed to Baidu which is a paid-for only service akin to a classified listings service.
Removing Google from the Chinese market would leave travellers with one dominant player in general search (no irony lost there for those in the west who have seen Google rise to the top), CTrip for bookings and Qunar for metasearch - all of which are locally owned.
PhoCusWright general manager for Asia, Ram Badrinathan, says: "Baidu will have no competitor in the market and whatever little access to free information Google provided will come to an end."
Where an exit for Google from China gets very interesting for travel is in the area of natural search that Google provides.
TripAdvisor, for example, relies heavily on its fantastic performance in organic search results for hotels to drive traffic to its site. What would be the impact on its Chinese site (and DaoDao) if Google disappeared from the market and it was forced to buy listings and keywords on Baidu?
The review specialist isn't alone in this area. Mothership Expedia has also bought heavily into the Chinese market through eLong and Kuxun, both of which presumably are well optimised and also feature highly in natural search results.
A decision by Google to pull out of China (no doubt hugely influenced by what happens at a diplomatic level, now the US administration is involved) is far from a foregone conclusion at this stage.
Indeed, Chinese authorities may in practice attempt to meet the Mountain View, California-based Google metaphorically somewhere in the middle.
Google's decision to enter China in the first place was full of compromise, so travel firms investing in China and the domestic market will watch with interest as one of the most high profile companies in the world wrestles with the government of the fastest growing economy in the world.