Google: shutdown or shut up

By K M Rehan Salahuddin
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, January 27, 2010
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Google has a reputation as worldwide leader in the search engine industry. It has a 72.2 percent market share in the United States with yahoo's 14.8 percent a distant second but in China Google's market share is just 43 percent, 13 percent lower than that of market leader Baidu. These statistics show that Google is still in search of success in China. From the time Google began operating in China they were involved in controversy.

On Tuesday, June 6, 2006 San Francisco Chronicle's website published the words of Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google: "It's perfectly reasonable to do something different, to say, ' we're going to stand by the principle against censorship and we won't actually operate there.' That's an alternate path." [1] This shows Google had the intention to shut down its operation several years ago. Now they've failed to be the market leader and make as much money as they expected, they are trying to create issues.

In 2007, Google's Pinyin IME found a copycat application of, a Chinese company. Sohu's dictionary contained the names of several Sohu employees and those have been found in the dictionary used with Google's Pinyin IME. [2]

Other major western internet companies have failed in the Chinese market. Ebay and Yahoo arrived in China with high expectations but are yet to find any success. Google's 43 percent of market share is a sign of relative success.

But nothing can make a company ignore the rules and regulations of the country where they are operating. However big the corporation is, it has to follow and obey the laws of the government and the country. If Google think that they cannot comply with the Chinese laws and regulations, they can shutdown their operation. Their announcement of shutting down is not a threat, because the market is not dependent on Google, rather Google is a part of the market. If the company leaves the market the netizens won't feel any void.

The western media and people should remember that the country China has its own right to decide and move on with their own rules, regulations and policies. The western media shouldn't try to intervene in the process and their idea of "Google has sent China a critical message"[3] or "can Google beat China?"[4] only exhibits their mindset to attack China. Chinese media should reply them correctly that "The internet search giant is nothing but a company and they either have to comply with government regulations or pack up." They have no right to try to play a ball game with a Government and its policy.






The blogger is a Phd student from Bangladesh. This blog was first published on 10:11 am January 19, 2010.

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