Joe Levi:
a cross-discipline, multi-dimensional problem solver who thinks outside the box – but within reality™

The Future of Google in China

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’re aware of the recent events that have transpired between Google and China over the past few months.

Google officially entered China with in January 2006. Their objective was to offer relevant search results to people in China, while complying with China’s requirement to censor search results. Google didn’t want to do this, they didn’t like doing this, but at the time, they thought “the benefits of increased access to information for people in China and a more open Internet outweighed [their] discomfort in agreeing to censor some results”.1 

Then Google discovered some startling news: someone in China, likely the Chinese Government themselves, began a hacking attempt on Google. More specifically, they tried (and to a certain extent succeeded) to break into the Gmail accounts of Chinese Human Rights activists. Additionally, they found accounts of both Chinese activists as well as activists in other countries have been “routinely accessed by third parties […] most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on the users’ computers” rather than hacks into Google’s servers.

During the course of Google’s investigation they found that “at least twenty other large companies from a wide range of businesses […] have been similarly targeted”. These companies are in internet, finance, technology, media, and chemical sectors. Yes, you read that right. Google has informed these other companies of the Chinese attacks.

Due to these attacks Google is in the process of reconsidering the role that it will play in China – if any. They have cancelled the release of at least two Android powered mobile phones allegedly because they don’t want to deploy a device into a country where their future is uncertain. Perhaps there’s more to it than that. Perhaps they want to protect potential Chinese Android users from having their GPS location available and potentially hackable by the Chinese Government.

In any event, what the future holds for Google in China promises to be a tipping point for the country. How will the other big internet players react? Will they support Google, or will they try to fill the void left if Google is forced out of China?


You may also like...

Leave a Reply