Delhi Business Review X V ol. 11, No. 2 (July - December 2010) GOOGLEíS EXIT FROM CHINA
A CASE STUDY
* Assistant Professor , Delhi School of Professional Studies and Research (Approved by AICTE), Delhi, India. Nour management classes, we used to listen to the statements from our Professors that if you want to be successful in this competitive arena then you should mould yourself according to the changing needs of the customers. These customers may range from an individual, a group, a state or even a country. Earlier we used to believe these statements by nodding our heads in consent without any counter-questioning. But now after hearing the case of Google's exit from China, one definite question that comes to mind is how much a company can change? What a company should change in a different country; its products, language, features, designs or the most important its Moral values? Should the company continue to change just for the profits that it can earn from a market as big as china (384 million net users) to the extent that the confidentiality of its clients is at a stake? (Economic Times) This case explains the censorship process enforced in China and the extent to which an authoritative government like China can go to take advantage of this surveillance? This case again calls for a strong need of PESTLE analysis especially the Legal component of it. It also tells us how submission to a legal censorship by a company can put the confidentiality of its clients at stake. Is it ethical to invade the privacy of the clients of world renowned company by taking the name of legal censorship? Who can be benefitted if Google exits from China? Has observant dragon engulfed the censored evil? Before answering the question, we need to look at the Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China and journey of Google in China. Internet censor-ship in China is conducted under number of laws and administrative regulations. More than sixty Internet regulations have been made and implemented by the Chinese government. The government not only blocks website content but also monitors the internet access of individuals. Several govern-ment bodies are involved in reviewing and enforcing laws related to information flowing within, into, and from China, but the most powerful monitoring body is the Communist Partyís Central Propaganda Department (CPD), which coordinates with GAPP and SARFT to make sure that content promotes and remains consistent with party doctrine.
Google, the worldís largest internet search engine company has been facing the Chinese bites since 2000. In 2000, the company developed the Chinese interface for its google.com website. In 2002, the company search engine became unavailable for Chinese users. In 2005, Google hired the ex- CEO of Microsoft Lee Kai Fu as head of Google China. Microsoft sued Google saying that Lee will disclose the propriety information to the company. In December, 2005 both the companies reached at the settle-ment. In 2006, Google rolled out google.cn, china based search page that censors the results as per the Chinese rules. (Economic Times)
Critics viewed announcement of Google to comply with the internet censorship laws in China as the submission to the Golden shield Project (a censorship and surveillance project operated by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) division of the government of China in 1998 and implemented in 2003.). Due I
to this censorship, whenever people search for prohibited Chinese keywords on a blocked list main-tained by the Chinese government, google.cn will display the ìIn accordance with local laws, regula-tions and policies, part of the search result is not shownî. Or ìSearch results may not comply with the relevant laws, regulations and policy, can not be displayedî. In August, 2008 Google launched the free music downloads to the users to better compete with the market leader Baidu.cn. In March, 2009, China...