Google in China case study

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Google in China: A Case Study                        

Google in China

Even though it was operating from the United States, Google began a Chinese language service in 2000 only to be locked by Chinese authorities in 2002. Being taken completely by surprise, co-founder, Sergey Brin gathered a half a dozen books on China in order to gain knowledge on the country. For some unknown reason, Google’s service was restored two weeks later. Chinese users claimed that they were unable to access politically sensitive sites even though Google said they did not change the service. Google came to find that the government censors the results of search engines being used on the Chinese Internet to ensure the information the citizens are seeing is acceptable to the culture.

 In 2004, Google realized that China was a strategically important market and Google was going to have to expand operations to the country, which included getting its own computer services and a Chinese homepage. It took 18 months of debating between senior management if the pros and cons of entering into China were worth the faster service and uncensored sites. Management decided the risk was worth it having over 100 million users; China was looking to be the largest Internet market and a huge source of advertising.

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Legal, Ethical, and Cultural Challenges

        The ethical issue that Google was confronted with was Google’s mantra “don’t be evil”. This meant that Google would give the users all access to search engines that were found as a result of the search. When Google decided to enter the Chinese market, they entered with a self-censorship, which meant that Google was giving “some information” and not “all information” by censoring certain political sites. Google broke an ethical rule they set for themselves, which was to not compromise the integrity of its search results.  Google blocking certain sites from Chinese users made Google ...

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