Interesting announcement by Google that they plan to pull out of China if the government can’t curb the hacking of email accounts on it’s free service offering, Gmail. It appears that there is a lot of activity with human right activist’s email accounts specifically, being compromised.
Being in the communist state has always gone against the grain for Google but with the promise of increased advertising revenues (for a business with a motto of ‘don’t do evil’) they were very happy to restrict content for Chinese users. However as time has gone on revenues haven’t increased and many believe China is still a loss leader for Google.
So the best way to gain more market share? To publically humiliate the Chinese government and get more column inches in every paper globally than any marketing campaign could achieve. I am sure Google couldn’t give to hoots about the compromised email accounts, but by voicing it’s concern publically not only wins public support but also dramatically increases advertising revenue as people flock to the website.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating China’s way of doing business, but to suggest Google is taking a stand for human rights and not commercial gain is short sighted. I wouldn’t be surprised if more western businesses join the bandwagon as China beating becomes more popular. It is a communist state with appalling human rights abuses – what do they expect?