Google in China

23 Mar

Tinananmen square google Google's move into China was justified on business grounds, though the company's idealistic 'don't be evil' motto suffered through the compromise of delivering censored search results.

But at least the censoring was made apparent to Chinese web users, and among the many obligations imposed on business, obeying the laws of the land is an important one.

Now Google has moved its Chinese search engine to Hong Kong, where search results are currently uncensored. Google is winning the PR war at this stage (by publishing information on the extent of any blocking), though the Chinese authorities have shown that they're acutely aware of their international reputation – and they've shown that they're learning lessons in public relations. It will be interesting to see what their next move is.

More openness or more control? And what role do the many thousands of Chinese students studying in the west play: they can be powerful international advocates for their government, or useful intermediaries in a potential clash of cultures.

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