Google in China
Google in China
This case is about how Google, an American company with a strong corporate philosophy, deals with one of today’s fastest growing markets: China. Google summed up its philosophy in 10 principles thoroughly explained. It is a company that has clearly defined its identity, its vision of the future and its strategy. Google promotes free and easy access to information for everyone. Since the foundation of the company in 1998, Google has always tried to stick to its principles as close as possible. Google is a more than well-established company in North America (and in most part of the globe) ; but as the 8th principle states “The need for information crosses all borders”, it was then natural for Google to turn towards China, one of today’s biggest potential markets. But as we know, the cultural and political context is not the same in the US, country of origin of Google, and in China. As the political context in China is as it is today, some measures of censorship and limitation of the information on the internet have been implemented by the Chinese government. Google was aware of those measures when it entered the Chinese market in 2006. In spite of those implicit conditions upon entering the Chinese market, Google still wanted to give it a try. In line with its principles, Google’s policy in China was to increase access to information for the Chinese people. However, when Google discovered about the attacks supposedly directed towards Chinese human rights activists, an action that clearly goes against the company’s priority for free speech, it delivered an ultimatum to the Chinese government: either Google.cn becomes a gate to totally free information or Google exits China. This statement consequently put a strain on the relationships between the US and China. This radical statement has raised different reactions, some thought of it to be courageous to stand up to an authoritarian government, while others were worried...
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