The Epic Battle: Google vs. China

22 Mar

The announcement in January that people in China (whomever you want to blame, government directly or people working for the Chinese government, or somebody else?) had hacked into private Google accounts owned by Chinese dissidents, using gmail wasn’t a surprise.  I was surprised that Google publicly threatened to stop filtering information through its search engine.  The law of the land to be in China. And a very high priority for the Chinese government which is extremely sensitive to any threats to its governmental power and sources of social unrest in its country. 

Observers misreported when this was announced in January that Google hadn’t been doing well in China. Google was a far distant second in the search rankings to the top Chinese based search engine Baidu.  However, Google had only recently started in China a few years ago and their growth was positive in this time frame.  This is little reason to use the China hacking excuse to exit out of China entirely by getting shutdown by the Chinese government for unfiltered searches.  Why leave the largest single group of Internet users (customers) in the largest up and coming market in the world?

Well today, Google made good on their threats and shutdown their Google.cn site and is now redirecting all their traffic to Google.com.hk, their Hong Kong unfiltered search engine. Click the link to see!


It leaves me thinking: Is Google actually making an ethical stand in the face of large potential lost revenue?  What do you think?

via TechCrunch

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