Google’s Chinese Dilemma

Like a lot people, I find the technology sector fascinating to read about. Which is good because the press puts out a couple of stories an hour about Steve Jobs, Google and Microsoft—with a little dab of Larry Ellison and his thrifty ways thrown in for variety. These days the tech giants are often in the same story, as they battle each other for mobile and/or search domination. To me though, the most interesting battle involves Google and the Chinese government, who have traded words about Google’s January announcement that it may leave the country because of censorship rules. With a March deadline looming, the pressure is on Google to make a final decision. If Google does leave, its Chinese partners will be left hung out to dry, and Google customers will be without many of the search tools and features the company is famous for—censorship or not. Whatever Google’s next move is, it’s surely to affect its reputation in a major way. I’d love to be a fly on the boardroom wall as execs debate the pros and cons. From a public relations standpoint, what do you think—should Google stay in China, or go?

–Scott Van Camp

  • Seena

    On a personal level I say, drop China, censorship is dying. On a PR level, I say create a resource – perhaps change the name (GoogleCensored, GoogleRed, GoogleLimited…i joke)…and say you don’t want to make the Chinese suffer in a confined space just because the government is slow to evolve. Make your money and be part of the inevitable evolution of worldwide info exchange. if you don’t make the money there someone else will be happy to fill the space that occupies 1/6th of the world’s population.

  • maria

    I totally agree with Seena. In a personal way I think that China should to avoid the censorship but as a PR student, I think that a company should to introduce new tools but always obeying the laws of the country. I have listened that a can of Coca-Cola has a different taste in each country, so why does not Google change its formula (services)depending on the country?

    I think that the market of China is a big piece of cake, so Google should to think deeply before taking a decision, because they can loose a lot of money.

  • Rena Kosiek

    This is a tough decision. If China is dropped, what will this mean for the national economy? Will it be affected at all? There are so many different areas that are going to be impacted by this decision. I like the suggestion left in the comment of Maria. Why doesn’t Google change depending on which country they are servicing? I understand this can be tricky, but this will allow them to stay and expand within countries such as China. Plus, if they choose to do this, users within each country will most likely use Google more just because it is more applicable to them.