Google Makes the Right Move in China

by on January 12, 2010 · 11 comments

Google’s policy blog just announced that Google, along with several other companies around the world, has been subjected to Chinese-sponsored cyber attacks.  As a result, Google will stop censoring the search results on Google.cn and as a consequence, may close its Chinese offices.

This decision is refreshing.  Despite over two decades of easing restriction on its people, Chinese regime remains brutally oppressive and continues to commit heinous crimes against its own people.  In a world that’s all too eager to look the other way so it can cash-in on China’s economic boom, Google has decided to forgo profits and take a stand against this oppressive regime.

I hope that many other companies follow Google’s lead.  Perhaps even the US government could do so, but so long as China owns one out of every four dollars of foreign-held US debt, Google shouldn’t count on it.

  • Antonius Howard

    I completely agree that it is a great move by Google, but will it yield any significant result? China has a similar, albeit less popular internationally, search site called Baidu.com. If Chinese government were to forego Google and shifted its attention to Baidu (maybe create another policy to make Baidu the official govt page or sth), then I fear this move will be ineffective for Google China.

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  • Antonius Howard

    I completely agree that it is a great move by Google, but will it yield any significant result? China has a similar, albeit less popular internationally, search site called Baidu.com. If Chinese government were to forego Google and shifted its attention to Baidu (maybe create another policy to make Baidu the official govt page or sth), then I fear this move will be ineffective for Google China.

  • http://mustazza.blogspot.com/ Chris Mustazza

    I agree. I'm curious if this threat by Google is more of an attempt to draw attention to the situation – n.b. they posted this story to their blog rather than handling it more quietly – than a real precursor to their leaving China.

    Baidu works very closely with the Chinese government, and I'm sure that the gov't would not mind a greater market share for them. Also, with other American companies taking the stance that acquiescing to any and all Chinese subpoenas is the cost of doing business (e.g. Yahoo), there are more attractive search options for a totalitarian government than Google.

    I think the best part of Google's move is that it will draw further attention to China's covert operations.

  • http://www.cordblomquist.com cordblomquist

    I agree, the Google move alone wouldn't do much of anything, but this action isn't happening in a vacuum, it's happening in a world where entire political climates can be changed when symbolic actions like this one lead to greater awareness.

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  • MikeRT

    One would have thought that the arrest of the Rio Tinto executive back in 2009 would have had a sufficiently chilling effect on relations between Western businesses and China, but one cannot underestimate how knuckle-headed “the suits” can be when someone is flashing a potentially very lucrative market in their faces. If the libertarian thesis of man as a “rational economic animal” were true, they'd have stopped the moment the prospect of going from a Harvard/Wharton-educated businessman to a worker in a Laogai would have nearly done in that relationship already.

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  • http://www.zyko.net/ Adult Social Network

    Google is far form Asia as a whole… For example in Russia there is yandex which has a far better optimized search code for the native Russian language and therefore beats google hard. The same can be said about China as well!

  • http://www.zyko.net/ Adult Social Network

    Google is far form Asia as a whole… For example in Russia there is yandex which has a far better optimized search code for the native Russian language and therefore beats google hard. The same can be said about China as well!

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