“We launched Google.cn in January 2006 in the belief that the benefits of increased access to information for people in China and a more open Internet outweighed our discomfort in agreeing to censor more results.”- David Drummond, Google.
Google may be rethinking their decision to open their search engines in China. The company has been the World Wide force on the Web and expanding their reach to China only seemed natural. The Chinese government allowed Google to open their site in China as long as one major rule was followed—some of the search results will be censored. Fast forward four years later and visitors of Google.cn are being redirected to an entirely different site in Hong Kong.
What does this mean for users in China? Possibly no more Google. We previously addressed what the internet would possibly be like without its’ most popular search engine, but users in China may actually start feeling the ramifications of not having the use of the site. It’s much bigger than getting results from a search engine. Consider not being able to use the thousands of applications loaded on our smart phones. The ones that tell us where to turn, cool places to eat and the most exciting spots to party in. Many of these apps that we live by use Google maps and information from Google to run. This will also close down Google.cn’s doors, causing a number a different lay offs. What does this mean for Google? The loss of millions, which is actually chump change to the company.
The Chinese government may be sending a bigger message to companies that are not currently open within their borders. Complying with their laws may interfere with new companies setting up locations in China which would even mean a missed opportunity for more jobs and revenue in China.
China users may soon get the first indication of what a Google-less Web look likes. Until then, I’m sure the search engine will think of innovative ways to recoup and keep the rest of the world searching!
“You got to decide: Do you want to obey the laws of the countries you are in or not? If not, you may not end up doing business there.” -Bill Gates