Don’t Be Evil. Google Takes A Stand Regarding China
In January 2010 Google publicly announced that a number of their customers’ accounts had been compromised through the usage of a variety of means including a direct attack on the corporate infrastructure of Google. In disclosing the attack Google went on to say:
As part of our investigation we have discovered that at least twenty other large companies from a wide range of businesses–including the Internet, finance, technology, media and chemical sectors–have been similarly targeted.
A large majority of these accounts were in some way affiliated with China including a number of gmail accounts for active Chinese dissidents. These attacks seem to have originated in mainland China. While proof that these attacks originated from the Chinese government has not been made publicly available, based on the sophisticated and coordinated nature of these attacks, as well as on the profiles of the victims of these attacks many believe that the Chinese government is in fact responsible for these attacks.
The above events are all highly unusual for a variety of reasons the chief being the nature of the parties involved and the public manner in which this conversation is happening. This of course is all back-story for this article.
In my estimation this story is all about what happened this past Monday: Google announced that they would no longer be filtering searches for mainland China, and instead would be directing all mainland China visitors of Google search to their site in Hong Kong, Google.com.hk. Many have said that this was a real don’t be evil decision for Google, and certainly it could not have been driven by the company’s desire to no longer interact with nearly 1.3 billion people. The Chinese government has also been unusually active in its attempts to discredit Google’s decision so clearly Google faces a huge challenge if it ever attempts to re-enter this market for search. There will be a discernible financial downside for Google regarding their most recent decision. Likely there will also continue to be a real life political downside for China both internationally and also in the eyes of its own citizens for some time to come. So why did Google do it?
I believe the answer stems simply from Google’s desire to remain true to themselves as a company. For this they should be commended for they have displayed a remarkable sense of corporate identity and courage. Knowing that Google made this decision in the face of such enormous pressure, I am very proud of them, and I am very proud to be a customer of theirs, both when I use search on a personal level, and also in regard to this very site where I utilize a number of Google products to help grow MostMost.
Founder of MostMost – a news and information blog.Posted on Thursday, March 25th, 2010 Both comments and pings are currently closed.