Yajiao’s Blog

Google VS China (1)

Posted on: 01/03/2010

Since the early of 2010, Google threatened pullout of China, the debate about Google’s business, and Chinese Internet censorship from different perspectives has never stopped.

In January, according to Google, a representative said that because of the hacker attacks, the world’s largest search-engine company considered quit Chinese market. Meanwhile, Google will not censor its search results in China any more. This news firstly raised discussions and conjectures on the Internet among Chinese netizens.

Why Google leaves?

There are various reasons analysed by either netizens or professionals for Google’ decision. Apart from the cyber attack and censorship, some also suggested that Google has not dominated Chinese market. Though China owns the largest amount of Internet users in the world, Google’s revenue in China is relatively small. Compared with Google’s competitor Baidu takes up 63.9% of Chinese search market, Google only has 31.3% market share.

In addition, the pullout of Google reflects clash of cultures and values. The previous founding chief executive of Google China, Kai-Fu Lee, said that one of the weaknesses western Internet companies failed in China is they did not understand China and Chinese. In September, 2009, Kai-Fu Lee left Google for his own Chinese Internet investment company.

Moreover, some argues Google’s issue is not only about business, but also related with politics. Referred to Google’s unwillingness to submit to censorship, some people pointed out that Google came to China in 2006 when China had a much stricter regulation than it has now. The Obama administration ties closely with Google. The speech of Internet freedom made by Hillary Clinton also made the Google issue even more political.

Chinese Internet users are divided on the Google issue. On the one hand, some expressed their support for Google, about 30 Chinese students even sent bouquets to the company’s headquarters in Beijing. On the other hand, Chinese people and Chinese media argued that the business of Google should not be related with political issue. Clearly, Chinese people have called for a more open and free Internet, but now foreign company still need to operate under Chinese laws.

Chinese students put flowers at Google’s head office to say goodbye.

Employees from Google China published the photo of their office to “commemorate” Google.

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