Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Battle between Google and Chinese Government

The shutdown of Google in China is one the biggest news in 2010. Almost all of major media groups in the world were involved in this case; and they provided totally different views and arguments.

Most of western analysists argued that the strict Internet regulation is the main reason for Google’s action. Indeed, the Internet censorship in China has been discussed for a long time in the world. International Internet companies that decide to enter the Chinese market have to face the complicated censorship system. So called nondemocratic rules bring negative influence on the expansion of their business in China. Despite the huge gap between the transnational, decentralized nature of Internet and the bureaucratic censorship system in China, foreign players have to make essential compromises to maintain the market position in China. However, it is still extremely challenging for them to ensure their products are allowable in China. As a result, the company like Google tends to take a strong attitude towards the current censorship framework.

On the other hand, Chinese journalists believe the commercial failure and political pressure cause the shutdown. Google did not achieve perfect performance in the Chinese arena. Google fails to gain a better position to compete against the largest local search engine, Baidu; the commercial profits are much less than desired results. Moreover, it is reported that American statesmen could influence the Google’s decision-making because of the relationship between officers and Google’s employee. Therefore, the assumption of Chinese media is not completely unreasonable.

No matter what is the actual reason for the withdrawing, the Google’s case would surely exert a significant influence on the future of Internet in China. Although Chinese policymakers would not promote a fundamental reform of Internet censorship, leaders could not ignore the following impacts. The despotic style of censorship may be criticized by global human rights organisations; the international image of China would be blemished. In order to minimize the negative effect of Google’ case, the adjustment of censorship has to be placed on Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ’s agenda, at least the State has to make a visible effort to reduce the limitation of Internet.

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