Google leaves China, good Move?!

Regardless of its reputation all around the world as an efficient search engine, Google currently is challenged in its China market where the company is expected having a good growth. There is a primary problem that might put the company’s future at risk when censorship becomes an issue in the biggest continental Asian country.

Traditionally, Eastern cultures like China are pretty conservative and against explicit sexual materials. They usually say that the firewalls are set to protect their people from such harmful contents. However, Chinese government does not only restrict their underage population from pornographic materials. Rather, they usually use it as a mean to go against human right activists. One apparent proof was an attack happened in January this year which was described as “highly sophisticated attack” aiming at human right activists. This incident raised a major question about Google’s security capacity whether or not they could protect their Chinese users’ right of privacy.

Google keeps 30% of overall China Internet market with about 384 million users. The number has its own strength. The size of current market is equivalent to the entire American market. If China political analysts put censorship out of the equation, Google is useful and helpful to over a hundred million users for their business needs which is a real big deal. These people may or may not concern about human right, but they definitely need Google.

Google could raise their flagship to against censorship in China like David vs. Goliath and leave this populous country. Consequently, the company will leave the entire market for Baidu and Alibaba, which are also familiar search engines to the Chinese. For Google’s sake, this is totally not economical because their fixed assets investments for offices and training employees turn out to be a total waste. Besides, China is developing strongly, by-passed Japan and becomes the second largest economy in the world. As living standard is rising, there will be more potential Internet users in this 1.5 billion population country. However, such bold action would make them earn more reputation because it is in line their “Don’t be evil” policy. And if they are lucky, Chinese government probably will set a step backward, stop censoring, and start listening to the voice of their dissidents.

Unlike its Hong Kong territory, China has Internet polices who are cyber safe-guarders for the government. They are probably hackers who gained access to information stored by Google. To be safer, Google would technically need to seal that security leak. Furthermore, there is no mechanism for an international corporation to against Chinese government. Rather, this company should use more PR to raise U.S. government attention, because American policies must ensure the protection of American Internet businesses in other countries. By doing so, Google is definitely not earning goodwill from Chinese authorities. Most of big investors in China are also involved in governing policies which is a big part of their geopolitical contexts. Hence, Google will probably struggle more in the future business when they want to expand their market.

A wise PR policy is probably what Google needs now to have a win-win situation. They would need to raise their voice strong enough for U.S officials to push new policies to protect the company while they are doing business in China. The purpose of a corporation is definitely to stay in business especially in such a huge expandable market as China. To do so, they do not need to strike back Chinese hackers but to prevent them from potential crackdowns. The voice should also be soft enough not to be offensive to Chinese government because Google actually doing business at their country and under their law. If there is anyone who could change the law, that would be Chinese people. Ultimately, leaving the Chinese market is not really an economical option while the company earns money from clicks of Internet users.


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