In the past few days there were so many things that happened that don’t know exactly where to focus. In 13 of January, Google decided to start 2010 with a bang announcing its intentions to keep a different approach to China and most probably stop working over there.
In the following days I read different opinions about that decision and many people decided to take the side of google in this and support the us company.
John Battelle in his blog back the move saying that apparently Google is different from Microsoft and Yahoo after all. Jeff Jarvis had also interesting posts stating about the importance of internet in the new world and Google being its greater colonizer.
However, there are people that try to see this issue from a more sceptical side. Robert Preston in his article described Google’s logic as Puzzling. In his own words :“Some Google shareholders (those who put a higher premium on profits than on democratic rights) will see this as a commercial example of cutting off your nose to spite your face – because it is not remotely clear how a withdrawal from China by Google would enhance the privacy of Chinese human rights activists.
Of course, there is the power of theatre. Google’s statement that it wants an unfettered Chinese search engine or none at all is certainly a big bold gesture that shines a light on systematic infringement of freedom of expression in that country.
But most campaigners for this freedom would argue that Google should never have agreed to be censored when launching its China service in January 2006.”
I have to say that I am with the views of Mr. Preston. I really don’t believe that suddenly Google decided to change their position and take the role of the “protector” of internet…unless they thought that with that way they will re-enforce their brand as the online leader in search engines and software.
I don’t want to make conspiracy theories and hypothetical judgements but I will really wait until the final negotiations and really see if google abandons the Chinese market after all. However, in a world that money matters and everything is driven by the profits and revenues you make its really hard to believe that a decision like that is taken only on the basis of ethics…