Google in China

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1. For Google in 2005, from a business perspective, what are the arguments for and against entering China.

The argument for Google entering into business in China is fairly simple. With 1.3 billion possible consumers, it cannot be ignored as an economic opportunity. Even offering a heavily censored and handicapped version of their search engine, Google's revenue producers AdSense and AdWords could still make billions. Google is well known as the world's most recognized brands and ignoring China's vast population from a business sense would be a regrettable decision. Google, like all international companies, must work with the governments of the countries they do business with and abide by their rules and statutes. Although the current Chinese regime has been strong on internet censorship, in the future they may change their stance and become more progressive on censorship. This could only take place with a highly-unlikely radical change in the political structure of China, but to already have a solid user base leading into that situation would be highly advantageous.

The arguments against entering into business with China are more complicated. China is a highly repressive Communist regime that has been accused of numerous human rights violations. The recent liberalization of their economic system has made doing business with this giant a "necessary evil" for many businesses around the world. They must adhere to rules that their home nations would find offensive and oppressive. From a business sense, this handicaps companies like Google, whose main purpose is to provide the world with information for everyone. China has also been funding a search engine company, native to China, which adheres unquestioningly to t...

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...s is usually a game of give and take, with both sides taking concessions so that both benefit. In this case, China wants it all. They want to control every piece of information in their country, and shelter their citizens from "the truth". The Chinese government has designed a bureaucracy that must dwarf the population and expenditures of medium sized nations. All this in a desperate attempt to keep the whispers of democracy and freedom of expression quelled.

I think Google has only one choice in this matter. They cannot work with China if they cannot provide uncensored internet services to the public. Google cannot be coerced in to giving up sensitive information that may lead to the incarceration, torture or execution of its users. Google must stand up for what they represent, and not concede to the desires of an overzealous and paranoid government.
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