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Saturday, January 28, 2006

Don't Be Evil


IN 2001 human-rights activists in China crowed that a little-known search engine called Google was the most important tool ever created to skirt state censors. Users could retrieve content that Beijing banned by clicking to call up a “cached” copy of the web page, stored by Google. Soon, however, Google itself was being sporadically blocked. The firm was instructed to deactivate that particular feature, and for a short time its web address was even re-routed by Chinese network operators to the website of a local rival.

The continual cat-and-mouse game ended this week when Google, now a corporate giant, entered the dragon’s den. On January 25th the search engine “Google.cn” began operations. It is a first step towards beefing up the company’s local presence, which will also mean placing computer-servers in the country. This will speed up service for mainland users, who otherwise must penetrate the great firewall of China, which dramatically slows down access to Google.com.

Any question as to whose side they're on?


January 28, 2006 | Permalink


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I heard something the other day with respect to Google and China that was distressing but might serve to take just a little bit of the heat off of the founders. Since Google was already operating in China any moves Google made or failed to make regarding the interests of the stockholders viz-a-viz the company's ability to continue business operations there would leave them liable to court action. If Google were not already receiving a revenue stream from operations in China they would have been within their rights to refuse to begin operations under the conditions demanded by the Chineese government. Since the stockholders have a reasonable expectation of a continuing revenue stream, the executives would be at fault were they to take actions that so very obviously endanger it. In short, they were not entirely free to choose whether or not to comply once they became a publicly traded company.

I might be wrong about this but anyway, that's what I've heard.

Posted by: catalexis | Jan 28, 2006 4:39:07 PM

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Posted by: yjbai idkgl | Dec 7, 2007 12:13:54 PM

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