Google may exit from China after web attacks

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by in_the_cheapseats, Jan 13, 2010.

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  1. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Looks like Google have had enough in placating the Chinese.

    Not quite pointing the finger at the Chinese government but ....

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8455712.stm


    I didn't like the way Google kowtowed to them anyway over the censoring issue.

    Be interesting to watch this one pan out.

    Blue chip corporate giants Vs the Chinese government, the coming superpower

    Ding, ding!
     
  2. As corporations go, Google is definitely one of the good guys.

    That said, they're smart too. Staying in China might provide them a short term boost, but could also undermine their core values and destroy their reputation - one of the key reasons they are head and shoulders, and then some, above competitors like Microsoft in the search engine market.
     
  3. Google have far too much to lose by appearing to be soft on the issue of data-compromise or surveillance.

    As it stands, the only real reason which I currently see Google coming under fire for, is the sheer the amount of data which is trusted upon them; be it through Gmail, Google Search History, Google Desktop Search, Google Documents, Google Android, Google Chrome... Blogger, Youtube!

    Now for a company which already struggles with people claiming being to be anxious regarding trusting them with this much data (admittedly; it can be minimised - and a lot of it does seem to be the talk of the tin foil hat brigade!) - if claims of turning a blind eye, or even collaboration, with regards to any surveillance efforts that the Chinese are enforcing upon "suspects" came to light... Well, it would be very damaging.

    They claim to want to begin offering an un-filtered search system through google.cn - something which I'm sure we all understand wont amount to anything. In my (uneducated!) eyes this appears to be more a way of pulling out of a sticky situation whilst still pleasing the users - "We didn't want to pull out of china guys.. but they wont allow us to go on".

    It is a bold mood though; for a company that is linked to mobile phone software development - and now possibly even computer OS/hardware development to pull out of one of the biggest consumer AND manufacturing nations in the world! (Google Android in China would be useless if Google didn't offer their online services; as I'm pretty sure Android is dependant on a Google Account. Similarly, ChromeOS which should be released this year will require an account.)

    I can only assume they'd simply be pulling the search engine from China, but keeping some form of skeleton service available? I'll be quite interested to see how they play this one.
     
  4. It's probably a good time to get out, seeing as they are rapidly loosing market share to Baidu.
     
  5. My thoughts exactly. They didn't grasp the fundamental pronciple of doing business in China which is: their house, their rules.

    Google's 'do no evil' motto was fundamentally at odds with the PRC's State Security policies and it was only a matter of time before the contradiction sank them in the country. What will be interesting, in the light of them making this statement before the talks on unrestricted searches, is whether it turns out to be a bargaining position or a genuine strategy. I doubt the PRC government will give way, there's too much they don't want on the internet.

    It might be interesting to note that an increasing number of internet sessions in East Asian countries are conducted on hand-held platforms. Since Google just launched their Nexux 1 and are pinning a lot of hope on it, it'll be interesting to see just how durable their idealism is in the face of exiling themselves from such a large market.
     
  6. I had this conversation with an Internet Analyst in a Chinese investment bank/brokerage house this afternoon (I work in the financial sector here in HK).

    His view is that the PRC market is too big for Google to ignore. By coming out with this it has temporarily knocked about 6% of Google's share price, BUT given them huuuuuge free advertising throughout China.

    He's shorting Baidu.
     
  7. Good point. If they manage to keep their promise of uncensored searches they'll see a massive uptake in particular amongst the young and the urban middle-classes - the same people who caused PRC to bin the Green Dam Youth Escort programme.

    If it comes to a straight technological pissing-contest between the PRC and Google, I'd put my money on PRC. Luckily, Google are likely to have an unofficial army of young Chinese hackers on their side.

    Edited to add: there are a few good ones on the other side, though. Just to be on the safe side, I'm switching my search engine for a few weeks. :wink:
     
  8. I'm sure there are, but they clearly arn't the ones doing the planted posts on the Times/Guardian comments section. Some of the pidgin english and 'Western' usernames are quite funny - it reminds me of Hitchhikers guide where one of our heros thought that the name "Ford Prefect" would be "nicely inconspicuous." :D
     
  9. They're known as the wǔmáodǎng or 50 Cent Society because 'common knowledge' has it that they get paid 50 cents per post supporting the government and status quo. There's also a large contingent of fènqīng - 'angry nationalist youth' - who camp out on the internet looking for things to get outraged about. A lot of their elders take great delight in taking the piss in chatrooms.

    You'll find a lot of these youth have taken a western name for use in English language situations, mainly because Chinese names can get grotesquely mangled in translation but also to show how westernised and daring they are. Not all of these are wisely chosen - I know a pretty little butterfly in the elegant north Chinese style who took the name 'Nora' and even found a bloke who rejoiced in the moniker 'Fairy Liu'. Obviously loses something in translation.
     
  10. Sixty

    Sixty LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. ARRSE Cyclists and Triathletes

    That reminds me of a website that I frequent but I can't quite put my finger on which one. It's on the tip of my tongue too.....
     
  11. What's the Mandarin for 'angry nationalist'? I think 'angry nationalist youth' would be a push for some of us... :D
     
  12. At a pinch, we could try lǎogāngmén - 'elderly arrse'.

    According to my dictionary:

    lǎo - old (of people) / venerable (person) / experienced / of long standing / always / all the time / of the past / very / outdated / (of meat etc) tough.

    Any of which could apply. :D
     
  13. ...other folk are. Link.