Google Has Played the China Situation Brilliantly.

Posted by truecreek on January 22, 2010 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

Great article by Henry Blodget.

A few years ago, when Google announced its decision to agree to censor its China site, it was savaged for selling out.

The company had violated its own “don’t be evil” motto, critics yelled, and it was tacitly supporting the Chinese government’s outrageous censorship policy.

The critics were wrong.

Google made the right decision to build a business in China a few years ago. And it’s making the right decision now, by threatening to pull out of the country if China doesn’t relax its censorship demands.

Google’s decision to make a big public threat now, when it controls 15% to 20% of China’s search market and is known to most Chinese internet users, will put far more pressure on the Chinese government to relax its policies than a boycott of the country five years ago would have.

Google matters in China now. The announcement that Google was threatening to pull out spawned public support for the company in China. It got Secretary of State Hillary Clinton into the act. It forced the Chinese government to respond with a statement. It has grabbed the attention of investors, as well as the hundreds of other companies that do business in China and are forced to play by Chinese rules. It will focus more public attention on the reality of China’s censorship policies than any boycott ever could have.

In short, by playing ball with China until it had some real leverage, Google has a much better chance of actually forcing the government to change.

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