(Thumbnail image: cnet news)


Internet giant Google has announced it could be shutting down the Chinese version of the popular search engine and its offices in the country.  The announcement came after an investigation revealed cyber-attacks originating in China against Gmail accounts belonging to human rights activists.


But analysts are debating whether Google can completely pull out of a market as big as China, and what the move might do to Google’s public image.

We’re looking at perspectives from CNNMoney, Channel NewsAsia, BBC, PCWorld, and BON News.

The market research organization Internet World Stats estimates China has nearly 400 million Internet users, potentially making it the largest Internet market in the world.


Correspondents on CNNMoney and Channel NewsAsia disagree on the financial impact pulling out of China could have on Google.


(CNNMoney) “If Google really does pull out of China, it could come with huge financial costs. This country has more than 300 million Internet users, more than any other, and the Internet advertising market here is seen as one of the most important and fastest growing in the world.”

(Channel NewsAsia) “According to analysts, China is more of a strategic market for Google, rather than a revenue generator for now. Analysts estimate that only a few percentage points of Google Company’s $22 billion US revenue in 2008 came from China. So in the short run the impact could be limited.”

When Google began doing business in China in 2006, it agreed to filter information the Chinese government deemed inappropriate or sensitive.


A BBC report suggests Google’s threat could earn it a few PR points from some of its followers.


REPORTER TRACK: “Google’s reputation suffered severe damage when it opened up in China four years ago. The laid back Californian company whose motto was ‘Don’t be evil’ was agreeing to censorship. Now it’s about turn has been welcomed.”
AMNESTY INT’L: “Amnesty international has been very concerned about Internet censorship in China for quite a number of years, and so it’s welcoming that somebody in the corporate world came out and said this is a problem and we have to deal with it.”


An article on PC World says there’s no way Google’s tough talk will result in a wholesale pullout.  But the article concedes something good can come of it.

“It's doubtful that Chinese authorities will allow Google to run an uncensored version of its Chinese Web site. But Google's declaration … could push China to pursue a more moderate course when it comes to Internet censorship. So perhaps Google would be willing to settle for a more liberalized version of the censorship it already imposes…”

But the English language Chinese outlet BON News suggests censorship isn’t likely to budge much.

 

“China has spoken publicly about its commitment to censorship. Minister for Public Security Meng Jianzhu wrote an essay on the importance of public control in which he said China needed to do a better job limiting the use of the Web and social media to organize anti-corruption and other protests.”

So do you think China will call Google’s bluff? Is Google’s threat likely to produce any changes?

 

Writer/Producer: Newsy Staff

Google and China Face Off

by Christina Hartman
0
Transcript
Jan 13, 2010

Google and China Face Off

(Thumbnail image: cnet news)


Internet giant Google has announced it could be shutting down the Chinese version of the popular search engine and its offices in the country.  The announcement came after an investigation revealed cyber-attacks originating in China against Gmail accounts belonging to human rights activists.


But analysts are debating whether Google can completely pull out of a market as big as China, and what the move might do to Google’s public image.

We’re looking at perspectives from CNNMoney, Channel NewsAsia, BBC, PCWorld, and BON News.

The market research organization Internet World Stats estimates China has nearly 400 million Internet users, potentially making it the largest Internet market in the world.


Correspondents on CNNMoney and Channel NewsAsia disagree on the financial impact pulling out of China could have on Google.


(CNNMoney) “If Google really does pull out of China, it could come with huge financial costs. This country has more than 300 million Internet users, more than any other, and the Internet advertising market here is seen as one of the most important and fastest growing in the world.”

(Channel NewsAsia) “According to analysts, China is more of a strategic market for Google, rather than a revenue generator for now. Analysts estimate that only a few percentage points of Google Company’s $22 billion US revenue in 2008 came from China. So in the short run the impact could be limited.”

When Google began doing business in China in 2006, it agreed to filter information the Chinese government deemed inappropriate or sensitive.


A BBC report suggests Google’s threat could earn it a few PR points from some of its followers.


REPORTER TRACK: “Google’s reputation suffered severe damage when it opened up in China four years ago. The laid back Californian company whose motto was ‘Don’t be evil’ was agreeing to censorship. Now it’s about turn has been welcomed.”
AMNESTY INT’L: “Amnesty international has been very concerned about Internet censorship in China for quite a number of years, and so it’s welcoming that somebody in the corporate world came out and said this is a problem and we have to deal with it.”


An article on PC World says there’s no way Google’s tough talk will result in a wholesale pullout.  But the article concedes something good can come of it.

“It's doubtful that Chinese authorities will allow Google to run an uncensored version of its Chinese Web site. But Google's declaration … could push China to pursue a more moderate course when it comes to Internet censorship. So perhaps Google would be willing to settle for a more liberalized version of the censorship it already imposes…”

But the English language Chinese outlet BON News suggests censorship isn’t likely to budge much.

 

“China has spoken publicly about its commitment to censorship. Minister for Public Security Meng Jianzhu wrote an essay on the importance of public control in which he said China needed to do a better job limiting the use of the Web and social media to organize anti-corruption and other protests.”

So do you think China will call Google’s bluff? Is Google’s threat likely to produce any changes?

 

Writer/Producer: Newsy Staff

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