lePolitical and Legal Factors
The Great FireWall of China:
At the forefront of Google’s numerous court and legal battles over the years is its endeavours in trying to crack the world’s internet market, China. Google had first started offering a Chinese translated version of its Google.com site in 2000, but Chinese users often struggled to connect or experienced problems online due to poor service from the countries licensed ISP’s (internet service providers). China’s government heavily restricts and monitors the content the Chinese online public have access to and in particular any and all sites containing anti-government material. They also operated a firewall that can search internet content and block stuff the government deems unfit. The first time Google suffered their wrath was on 2002 when the main Google.com search page was completely unavailable for two weeks. At that point the company maintained that it had not bent to any of the Chinese government’s demands to censor content. In 2006, Google launch a proper Chinese version of its website, Google.cn. To do this however, Google agrees to block certain sites containing political content, a move that draws criticism from Chinese activists and American Congress alike. They also sell their small stake in Baidu, China’s dominate search company, to compete head-on in the market. The company also teams up with the government-owned China Mobile to release a range of smartphones running on Google’s mobile Android platform, bringing it into head to head competition with Apple. By 2009, their share of the internet search market would rise to as much as 30%, but still short of Baidu’s commanding two thirds share of the market. However the company continues to butt heads with government. Google and a no. of other companies are criticized for not doing enough to restrict access to pornography and react by disabling a number of Google services, including Gmail. YouTube also comes under fire and when a video of...
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