Feeds

Google goes to China

Try searching for 'company ethics'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Google has snagged a licence to do business in China, and has registered the URL www.google.com.cn. According to reports, is planning to open an office there by the end of the year.

Web consults at Shanghai iResearch note that Google already has more than 21 per cent of the Chinese search market, which ranks it in third place, after Yahoo and Baidu.com, the BBC reports.

The move certainly opens a big market to the search giant, China has around 94m people with web access, but it also raises several ethical questions. Chinese authorities are well known for their rather inflexible approach to the web, and for their Herculean efforts to maintain some rigid censorship rules.

Authorities are particularly opposed to some of the more racy content available online, but have also turned their noses up at The Sims for fear that the game would corrupt the nation's youth.

Any content which threatens "state security, damaging the nation's glory, disturbing social order and infringing on other's legitimate rights" is also banned.

We have asked Google how working in this kind of environment squares with the company's informal motto: "Don't be evil" and striving towards the "highest possible standard of ethical business", as it states in its code of conduct.

Google stresses that the license is just to set up a representative office in China, and no more than that, although it does conceed that it is very interested in the market. For the time being, it will be using the office as a base from which to conduct market research, and learn more about the market, a spokeswoman for the company told us.

As for the ethical considerations, it says that until it is doing business proper in China, it can't really talk about them, because it doesn't know exactly what its situation will be. When it does, it will address these issues. ®

Related stories

China bans The Sims
China jails woman in porn crackdown
China snoops on text messages

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.