I posted this on the business blog (taikongren.net)
What should I call it? “The Big G” topic”? Sounds a little religious. How about mathematically, like this:
(China - Google) = Baidu + (Google X .3) <> righteousness
Today, a post which expresses my feelings from Gizmodo:
I think it’s time to take a step back and consider the fact that Google pulling out of China might not be the answer. …
The thing is, Google sacrificed any moral stance they could possibly adopt, when they entered China and set up business in 2005. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in favor of censorship and just can’t imagine living with such heavy restrictions. But how are you going to enter a country, comply with their censorship, then turn around and complain about it five years later? I wish there was an easy way for both sides. …I mean, we can tell China to quit its censorship practices, and we can do it online, because it’s our right to do so in whatever country we live in, but how much use is it going to be, really?
…When their corporate mantra is “don’t be evil,” you’ve really got to wonder whether them compromising on their ideas of censorship and values are really as important as the problems which will arise in China for the Chinese and the companies that do business there Google does back out four years after traveling the Silk Road information superhighway.
This article sums up exactly how I feel about the issue. My only complaint is that he uses the work “Silk Road information superhighway”, which makes me want to cringe.
OK. So some may say “better at least to do the right thing now, even if the decision five years ago was wrong.” OK. So everything we use everyday is made in China, but Google’s decision to go to China was particularly wrong…they should back out. However, its still OK to buy cheap computers made by sweat-shop workers in Guangdong so that we can read Google at home in the USA. Uh…OK.
Pulling out will not materially affect Chinese “freedom” because Google’s market position will be taken up by Microsoft and Baidu. The pull-out does send a message against censorship. Chinese are either against censorship, or they believe that some censorship is necessary(because if the media did not censor, there would be too much “cultural polution” ie. Fox News), or they don’t care. Either way, Google’s “message” is not something new to people’s ears. Its certainly not going to influence anyone.
BTW, I don’t believe the hacker story. I don’t believe that was Chinese government policy. Google has offered up no proof at all that this was deliberate…in fact… they showed evidence that the hacks came from students. In any case, whether they stay in China with Google.cn or not has no effect on the efficiency of hackers.
Did Google execs think they could pressure the Chinese government into decreasing censorship when they decided to stop censoring? If they believed that, then I got some bridges to sell them in New York. I don’t think the Google execs are that dumb, but you never know.