Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by bit-tech, 28 Nov 2018.
Regardless of China's overbearingness on it's citizens, it's also the biggest market in the world. Google is a business. It's going to eventually happen.
Activism is good, it raises awareness, but IMHO the best way to change something is from the inside out. That change comes slowly. The only way for it to happen is by being present in the market.
Remember when Google pulled out of China, and made a big stink about the immorality of surveillance and censorship(even if they only really left because they were getting their butts kicked)?
I guess that isn't evil anymore, now that all the major western powers have been caught doing it.
More that they're thinking more pragmatically about the ethics involved:
- Abstain entirely, allow the space to be occupied by services that are Totally Cool with full surveillance compliance (Baidu isn't too far off a government department)
- Comply begrudgingly and as poorly as possible with the letter of the law and push the boundaries as much as possible, offer a "less bad" avenue for information access.
The previous exit from China is an argument in favour of the former option, as China are demonstrably willing to just outright go "no Google for you" at the drop of a hat regardless of Google's size if they fail to properly kowtow.
As I noted parenthetically, Google didn't really pull out of China because of a great moral imperative. They pulled out because they were getting wrecked and they were sick of throwing good money after bad.
I just think it is funny that they threw all those pretty words away once they thought they had a chance to gain a foothold in the market again.
Realistically there will be no changes for the better in China until President and God Emperor for life Xi gets old and dies. Fella clearly sees himself as the new Chairman Mao and will not tolerate any kind of freedoms or dissent.
For Google that means they either accept that and do business there for the next 15-ish years, complicit in whatever The Party has them provide data for. Or they get out entirely and abandon that market to the state provider. China has a habit of handing markets to state providers once the outsiders have set it up anyway, so Google may be taking options 2 whether they like it or not.
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