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Google in China

I am doing a case study on "Google in China".

I would like to get some answers to the following questions:

1. What principles are relevant for Google's decision to enter China? Is censorship consistent with Google's core values? Should compromises be made?

2. Why does the Chinese government censor information so aggressively?

3. Should Google have entered China?

4. Given that Google decided to enter China, should it have offered email and hosted blogs? Should it have restricted its offerings more than it actually did?

5. Are Google's practices sufficient? What else should it do?

6. Should Google lobby the Chinese government to change its censorship policies?

7. Should Google lobby the U.S. government to develop a policy to guide U.S. Internet companies in China?

Solution Preview

1. What principles are relevant for Google's decision to enter China? Is censorship consistent with Google's core values? Should compromises be made?

While removing search results is inconsistent with Google's mission, providing no information (or a heavily degraded user experience that amounts to no information) is more inconsistent with its mission, as per one of the key executive of Google. Thus, google's decision to enter China, although inconsistent with its core philosophy, is somewhat justified by the fact that it is atleast better than providing no information at all to Chinese customers.

Google, being a for profit firm, should not see any harm in making compromises as such compromise is opening up a huge market for the company which, in turn, means greater return to its shareholders. Although the justification of an increased bottom line does not completely offset the decision to compromise, it is still a good step to enter China with censorship on search results.

Some people might argue that although in business it's necessary to compromise, particularly when the rewards are made to look so promising and there are strong, cash-rich competitors on the horizon, but if your only principle is continued access to potential rewards and you are willing to subordinate everything else you claimed you aspired to in return for that, then I wonder how qualified you are to be trusted with the world's ...

Solution Summary

What principles are relevant for Google's decision to enter China? Is censorship consistent with Google's core values? Should compromises be made?

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