Google vs. China

Google.cn
Good Google?! (image by bonnae)

Hey … the news and blogosphere are full of praise after Google announced that they are considering to discontinue their Chinese business (Google.cn) if they still have to censor search results and to reveal critical privacy information of dissidents to be compliant with Chinese domestic policy.

It is just hard to imagine that Google now suddenly cares more about human rights than about their own wallet. I like more the way how Evgeny Morozov puts it in his post “Doubting the sincerity of Google’s threat” [via netzpolitik.org]:

“Google was in need of some positive PR to correct its worsening image (especially in Europe, where concerns about privacy are mounting on a daily basis). Google.cn is the goat that would be sacrificed, for it will generate most positive headlines and may not result in devastating losses to Google’s business (Google.cn holds roughly 30 percent of the Chinese market).”

So in the end it is still all about the wallet … but ok, Ethan Zuckerman has a maybe more neutral view about the motives in his post “Four possible explanations for Google’s big China move”.

If Google really takes it seriously, I am just curious how long we will have Google.de here in Germany after these alarming developments

Until now apfelkraut.org is still accessible from within Germany, but as I have quite some occurrences of the terms “open” and “free” on this page, I was wondering (like Horatiorama did) if my site can be reached from behind the Great Firewall: Positive, according to just-ping.com and websitepulse.com it is not blocked. So happily at least I do not have to rethink my Chinese business …

[image taken from bonnae]

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