The case study of china involving a powerful Google corporation is an interesting social responsibility considering their business mission declaration “Don’t Be Evil”. The biggest challenge Google has to face is the fact that china offers an enormous profitable market considering its populace. There has to be a dilemma regarding marketing and the legal, cultural or ethical challenges that may be involved. Culturally the case has set up a stepping-stone for the human rights activists who seem gagged by the government’s rules and regulations.
The government reminds all the companies especially those involved with the transfer of information to the outside world to ensure strict abidance with its rules. The state’s control of the cyber space may have been involved with the threats placed by Google forcing them to consider pulling out of its services. According to Google, sophisticated and targeted cyber attacks seem to originate from the Chinese government in their aim to preview emails of human rights activists as a security measure.
The aim of the Chinese government is to try to filter some internet contents to maintain a strong grip on power. The attack also hits other companies such as Yahoo and Adobe. The ethical challenge Google has to face entails its decisions during the 2006 search engine launch regarding business undertakings in china, where it agreed the government pronouncement to censor the search engine “Google.cn”. Arguably, Google played a role in enhancing conditions for the attack by giving in to the rule that encourage bullying of human rights by the government. According to the users in china, by leaving China, Google leaves its clients in a sober mood but equally, it is more painful to learn that it went against its principle of “Don’t Be Evil” when it agreed to venture into China on condition of accepting censorship in 2006. The Google top executives (co-founders) Larry Page and Sergey Bin face an uphill task over deciding the way forward. They have to analyse the possibility of bleaching their terms of trade with the Chinese government, which can as well result to legal charges.
If their break on the contract concerning the agreement for the government to monitor content causes internal security risks, then legal settlement regarding the matter might be inevitable. The legal risk involves braking China’s sophisticated network used to monitor and limit information through the fight for human rights of expression. (U.S. Department of State, 2010) As the saying goes, one’s man meat is another’s poison”. The agony Google managers’ faces in today’s global market has triggered their rival’s “Baidu” speculation of the move as a hypocritical and financially driven.
According to the market research companies, financially they dismiss the move claiming Google’s failure to capture the market with an estimate of 15-30 percent of the users compared to the rival’s 70 percent. Arguably, Google may be aiming at a long-term strategy, where their opportunity lost will be the short-term revenue loss in China and the opportunity cost would be better and higher market penetration than the current situation. They would not wish to lose client’s trust totally, because the future endeavours to dominate the search and mail services. Their move therefore entails gaining people’s trust regarding mails, calls, storage of documents, pictures and other files as well as the web search services. The financial disaster can only be catalysed by lose of trust and not the short-term back off to strategize.
A well-calculated move is the ultimate benefit. Considering the public snub of the Chinese authorities, Google risks other key U.S. companies and the government partnership in other business involvements in China. China is a potential exporter of a wide range of manufactured good for the U.S. consumers.
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, “Background Note: China,” Retrieved January 30, 2010 from