What goes around comes around for Google

Posted on January 13, 2010


It seems that even corporations like Google cannot escape the prying eyes of the Chinese government. The company has reacted with horror to its discovery that the accounts of Chinese human rights activists were being targeted by malware. Indeed, Google is so angry that it has suggested that it will no longer confirm to censors imposed by the undemocratic government in China.

About time. Let’s not be fooled that this is a real moral stand on the part of the company. Google may be receiving praise for making a stand against censorship, but the company, which has “Don’t be evil” as its deliciously ironic motto, long ago forfeited moral credibility in this situation when they agreed to block search results that highlighed sensitive political and social issues such as Tibetan independence and the Tiananmen Square massacre. In violating its motto and sacrificing free speech in return for profit, Google sacrificed the moral high ground. Complaining now smacks of hypocrisy.

The reality is that the company has now found a way of withdrawing from China without losing too much face. Indeed, it might even gain in moral stature from this. Google has only managed to corner around 30% of the Chinese market, compared to the 60% commanded by its rival Baidu, where controls are even tighter than those Google had to endure. In a show of rage, Google will ‘defy’ the Chinese authorities and hastily withdraw from China, perhaps fooling people into believing that they have reclaimed their morality. In the meantime, the Chinese people, kept in the dark by the sinister arrangement between Google and the Chinese government for the last few years, still wait for the lights to be turned on.

Posted in: Issues, Media, Politics