January 18, 2010
USA/CA–Since Google broke the news last Tuesday, the Chinese government has stood their ground, despite the U.S. government backing Google on the grounds of preserving freedom of speech and internet freedom. Strong proponents of internet freedom in the U.S. Congress, the European Union, and other leading governing bodies have weighed in on the issue–but it remains to be seen whether the fireworks will move either Google or the Chinese government in a cooperative direction.
Google has already faced a decrease in investment in the critical week before quarter closings. Shutting down Google.cn operations would cut off Google’s 30% market share in China, a thought that scares investors. Though Chinese-run Baidu.com holds the majority of the internet market in China, (at nearly 60%), recent gains by Google in-country and strong future estimates made China Google’s most promising market. More than 300 million internet users and thousands of employees may be deprived of contact with western media if Google leaves. Some political analysts see the impending departure of Google.cn as an sign of China closing itself off from the West.
For Chinese human rights activists, who were targeted by the cyber attack on Google in December, 2009, this strong stance rooted in ethical business practice comes as a breath of fresh air. Google has in a sense staked its future on their current stance against censorship and for internet freedom.
ChinaAid and many other human rights organizations commend Google’s brave action, and pray that the other companies who were victims of the cyber attack will similarly step forward. The American company is taking a gamble based on principle, and in rallying to their side, the U.S. government has now staked much of its Chinese human rights policy around freedom of speech and information. Will this be the watershed point for U.S.-China human rights talks? Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton will give a formal statement on the issue this week. Her remarks may well decide the course of U.S.-China foreign policy for the forseeable future.
Read the Original Blog posted by David Drummond, Google’s SVP of Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer:
GOOGLE: “A NEW APPROACH TO CHINA.” http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/new-approach-to-china.html
To catch up on the Google-China Censorship battle, check out these articles from the Wall Street Journal, BBC News, New York Times, Reuters, and other reputable sources:
1/18/2010–(Bloomberg) GOOGLE BEGINS TALKS WITH THE CHINESE OVER INTERNET CENSORSHIP: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aBcdIh_c70GA&pos=4
1/15/2010–(Wall Street Journal) U.S. SEEKS GOOGLE-CHINA PROBE: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703657604575004421409691754.html
1/15/2010–(Mail Foreign Service) U.S. BACKS GOOGLE’S STAND FOR INTERNET FREEDOM IN CHINA: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1243533/US-backs-Googles-stance-China.html
1/15/2010–(Reuters) CHINA PLAYS DOWN GOOGLE DISPUTE: http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-45431720100115 / WALL STREET FRETS OVER GOOGLE’S FUTURE IN CHINA: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60B5RV20100113
1/15/2010–(Mail Foreign Service) GOOGLE LIFTS VEIL ON TIANANMEN MASSACRE IMAGES: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1243104/Googles-China-crisis-Beijing-refuses-row-censorship-hacking.html
1/14/2010–(BBC News) CHINESE GOVERNMENT SAYS “THE INTERNET IS ‘OPEN'” IN RESPONSE TO GOOGLE’S STATEMENT: http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8458462.stm
1/12/2010–(NYTimes) GOOGLE THREATENS TO PULL OUT OF CHINA AFTER E-MAIL ACCOUNTS ARE HACKED. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/13/world/asia/13beijing.html?hp
Google Takes a Stand against Chinese Censorship: U.S. Backs Google, China Talks Begin