Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Don't Be Evil" ( If it's bad business)


Gotta love Google's new stance in China. After a few years of being criticized for looking the other way with regard to censorship and human rights abuses in order to "open" up a Google market in China, Sergei and the boys are now threatening to pull out of China entirely after learning of Gmail hacking and strong-handed government tactics bent on uncovering the identities of dissidents and human rights activists.

It's fairly clear that Google's corporate mantra of "don't be evil" was probably applied after more of a cost/benefit analysis than an actual human soul-search. Shareholder complaints combined with the fact that Google.cn was not that profitable to begin with undoubtedly made the lights go on in Google's mind that they could get more mileage and credibility through moral grandstanding than by sitting around and continuously waiting for some elusive and mythical "massive Chinese market potential" to appear.

Yet, the move has real promise and could signal a change in how the world views China. For the last two decades, every greedy Western business has spoken in hushed tones about China's potential and how easily they are offended if one mentions small trivial things like:

-Lead Tainted Toys
-Counter-intuitive government intervention in private business
-Strict currency manipulation designed for Chinese advantages against open market societies
-Poisonous dry-wall products
-Poisonous milk products
-Poisonous anti-coagulation medicines
-The complete murder and decimation of fully 1/6 of all Tibetans and Tibetan culture.
-The complete murder and imprisonment of Uighur society.
-The shrill condemnation and interference in any activity by any country deemed "anti-China"
-The imprisonment and murder of a British citizen for drug trafficking.
-The support of despotic regimes in Burma and North Korea.

Yet, we only have our greedy, hegemonic Western arrogance to blame. We blithely think that China is an "emerging" democracy and will eventually see things our way. Bunk. Martin Jacques in his new book When China Rules the World makes a strong case for the ideas that many of us have known for years: China plays along with the rest of the world for the ultimate benefit of China. China doesn't want to be part of the world, they eventually want the world to be part of China. And, China will always use their "market potential" as a decoy and a shield to hide their barbaric human rights and economic practices.

Google, ultimate motivations aside and to their credit, is the first major corporation to say enough is enough. For that we must applaud them and hope they are the spear tip of a much larger change in world perception of China. Perhaps it has already begun. Duncan Clark, a Beijing consultant, notes these shifting winds: "People (in the Chinese government) here think no-one can do without China, and I think now some companies are thinking no-one can deal with China.."

-=blogdai


18 Comments:

At 12:08 PM, January 13, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Google manages blogger.com, your master, Blogdai. It would be funny if this posting of yours got censored.

 
At 4:21 PM, January 13, 2010, Blogger blogdai said...

Yes, we are quite aware of our relationship to the mother ship.

We have, in fact, been contacted by either blogger or google staff in the past, I couldn't tell which, when we've run questionable stuff. (Kill maoists, girija should die, that sort of thing)

There seems no real reason for them to be too jumpy at our post. Sure we smack google around a bit, but we're generally treating their current action in a favorable light.

Not too sure they'd approve of the way we've manipulated their logo, however.

-=blogdai

 
At 2:40 PM, January 14, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chins are already in K'doo trying to pressure internet kiosk operators and web hosts, to be sure.
The bloody nerve! Chins go deep into Nepal to push their angry and stupid ideals!

Ian (UK)

 
At 12:47 PM, January 18, 2010, Blogger blogdai said...

And now we read where it looks like China pulled an inside job to sabotage Google in China.

www.reuters.com/article/idUSTOE60H07V20100118

blogdai tries hard to not be a complete cynic in situations like this, but it becomes a point of valid debate as to whether China allows foreign firms and innovations into the country for the ultimate purpose of stealing or reverse-engineering ideas or products the Chinese want or need in order to catch up and eventually dominate world trade.

-=blogdai

 
At 5:32 PM, January 18, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are sick of China in Nepal. Fuck these pale kukkur. All the time look and stare, no respect for Nepal people.

Molai idea is forget new road and all China money. All bribe.

Get out of Nepal or we will fight you.

 
At 3:23 PM, January 24, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogdai was the first to openly say that Google was not making money so that is why they leave China. Now every news org says the same thing.

Again Blogdai is ahead of the class in analysis.

 
At 5:24 PM, January 25, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All Nepal people are subservient punks. As soon as you realize China is your masters the sooner you can have a good Communist supported society. Resistance is futile. You want to fight? Look how rebellion turned out in Sri Lanka. Roll over and beg you impoverished wimps.

Sanjay Senanayake (2:34)

 
At 10:16 AM, April 10, 2010, Anonymous nepal kathmandu said...

I like google approach. Chinese now feel that they are the most superior and without them no country can run. Thats a good slap by google.

 
At 9:36 AM, April 26, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's happened to Blogdai? Is he still alive?

 
At 5:33 AM, August 09, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

shame on the government.i'm chinese.

 
At 10:52 AM, August 10, 2010, Anonymous From Kathmandu said...

good post keep it up. Bring more interesting news.

 
At 6:02 AM, August 30, 2010, Blogger Scratch the hostile fay said...

It's all about money, regardless of where you go.

It will be interesting to see if google actually pulls out of China.

Scratch

 
At 7:31 PM, September 01, 2010, Blogger blogdai said...

dig it scratch, give me more.

-=BD

 
At 7:37 PM, September 01, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG, Blog dai lives! We haven't had a comment in months. I can breathe again, life is good and there is hope.

Susan (Ashley) Lawson

 
At 8:15 PM, October 12, 2010, Anonymous Prayash said...

And now China's fury over Liu Xiaobo's nobel peace prize is quite something too.

 
At 8:31 PM, October 29, 2010, Blogger blogdai said...

The Chinese people, if given the information, would be very proud.

The Chinese government, if given enough latitude to withhold information from the Chinese people, will discount the entire Nobel process as a supreme insult to Chinese culture.

They're a bunch of shrill children; yet we accommodate them because we are more greedy than they are shrill.

-=blogdai

 
At 5:58 AM, June 21, 2011, Anonymous Jaya Nepal said...

amazing

 
At 5:59 AM, June 21, 2011, Anonymous Jaya Nepal said...

amazing

 

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