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Google in China

By:   •  August 23, 2013  •  Essay  •  613 Words (3 Pages)  •  811 Views

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Google China

Google has had a presence on the internet since it was founded in 1998 by two Stanford students. Within two years they were ready to try and enter the Chinese landscape. In preparation for that decision, Google had not just business issues to look at but ethical ones as well. The Chinese censorship is well known and is in direct conflict with the core values of Google. The Chinese market, while providing a huge opportunity for company growth, would present new unknown risks.

In 2000, Google Inc. began offering their Chinese language search engine. They vowed to continue their long standing company motto, "Don't Be Evil", in their attempt to bring information to the masses in mainland China. By 2002, Google was encountering resistance from the Chinese government and eventually the site was blocked. The blockage came without warning to Google leadership and sparked a desire to learn more about the Chinese market. Within two weeks, the ban was lifted with no explanation. Moving forward a few years, Google had clearly identified the Chinese market as a key location. As such they began posturing themselves for the move into mainland China. This included building up infrastructure based in China, not just providing service from afar. By 2006, Google was prepared to fully embrace the Chinese culture and open www.google.cn. When Google.cn was launched, it was being run from servers inside of China, by Chinese employees.

Creating a .cn version of Google was not a decision that could have been made lightly. The Chinese censorship seemed to most people to be directly against all the Google stood for in their attempt to bring freedom of information to the masses. This presented a difficult decision for Google to make, do they compromise some of their core beliefs or do they abandon a huge potential customer base. Ultimately the prospect of the world's most populous country won out. Google took the stance that, despite accepting the requirement to censor content, they were still providing a better good to the Chinese people than by not entering the market. One key difference that was cited between the Google.cn search results and other Chinese-based search engines was the way censored results were displayed. For other Chinese-based search engines, users are never even notified that items had been censored while the results from Google would show that due to governmental regulations certain search results were being removed.

Google quickly developed a foothold in China, though a slippery one. They were never able to reach

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