Google has threatened to pull out of China citing human rights, security breach backed by the government, etc. and it is really a big deal! Below are my thoughts.
In my humble and simplistic view EVERYTHING happening in the world is a big chess game between the US, China, Russia and United Kingdom (hahahaha!! Of course I am kidding about the UK part).
Before now, the King (Super Power) of the world owned the largest weapons, then it moved to energy (Oil). Now the Internet has changed all that. HE WHO HAS INFORMATION IS KING! In my post talking about Google’s dominance on the Internet, I spoke about governments being a major competition/obstacle for Google because of the amount of information it has on its citizens. You see, Google is an American company based in the US, so there is little you can to to convince me, the Chinese or the Russians that America does not have access to the information (= intelligence). For heavens sake Google parks their private jet in NASA! It is no surprise to me that Google is not the dominant search company in either Russia (Yandex) or China (Baidu).
On a side note, Facebook is not in China too.
So why did Google do it?
There are two schools of thought currently in the blogosphere
1. Human rights issues. They are just living up to their motto “Don’t be evil”.
My thoughts on this point: Why did they go to China in the first place? Google had always censored results in China before now I do not think they discovered their ‘conscience’ overnight.
2. Because they are loosing market share they need an excuse to succumb to defeat with their heads held high while getting a bit of positive PR.
As regards to this point, I think it is a ridiculous assertion. Google is not known to be making any loss (The are expected to hit $600M revenue this year) in China, so it makes absolute no sense to leave. Secondly, will be stupid to throw away the human capital/knowledge (employees) they have built up over the years for reason of loosing market share. Moreover they will not burn the bridge with China (which they have effectively done) if they just want to leave the business of search in China.
So i’ll say neither.
My theory (speculation) is this: Google must have realised that it has been infiltrated by by the Chinese government both form within and outside and must have lost some IP, which will be important in the battle for “organizing the worlds information”. They realize they have much more to loose than gain by operation in China.
So why did the Chinese do it?
Simple! They are now global players and they have to be on top of things. They cannot allow an American company/government have all that intelligence on their people. It will not happen now, it will not happen in future. The Chinese tactic is simple, lure greedy American companies to the country (1.3 billion is one hell of a market opportunity); Give them enough market share (some scores of millions) to allow them satisfy their greed while not compromising national security. At the same time getting enough knowledge of the IP/Technology they own. It is a win-win deal….for the Chinese.
The only party that might loose from Google pulling out is the US government. Google will make lots of money in other parts of the world (if other governments do not follow suit), The Chinese people do not use Google anyway, and the Chinese government will lure in the next greedy company to take the space vacuum created by Google .
Did I hear you say Bing? (it even sounds Chinese!)