Google to China – Back Off or We Are Out of Here

The blogosphere and twitterverse are buzzing today about the stand Google took yesterday in China. Google basically said it would no longer censor results for Chinese users as required by the Chinese government, and if the government didn’t like it, they would leave.

Seems that the last straw was a series of cyber attacks on Google and others trying to steal proprietary information, and trying to read the gmail accounts of human rights activists. Google claims the Chinese government is behind those attacks.

This is a bold move by Google. We often see how businesses, governments and courts struggle with applying different and inconsistent international ethical, moral and political standards and laws.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will other businesses and governments rally around Google? Will China stop and ponder about their policies?

For more detail, see this Washington post article.

Robert Scoble has some thoughts on it here and here.

UPDATE: Also take a look at this ZDNET article on why this make sense for Google.


  1. The Economist reckons that this is as much about business as ethics and it may well be that Google simply cannot touch Baidu as a search engine for the Chinese market.

  2. Indeed, I think it was Sarah Lacy on TechCrunch who coined the phrase More about Business than Thwarting Evil. Regardless of possible mixed motivations, though, Google’s stance on political censorship is welcome.