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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/23/10

Google Leads The World In Corporate Ethics; Who Will Follow Their Example?

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A recent article on Op-Ed News highlighted some of the reprehensible tactics of Chinese entrepreneurs (Thieves would be a more definitive definition of their antics.):

Google's Decision Highlights the Dangers of Doing Business in China By OilGuy (about the author)

I will illustrate with one example of dozens known to me personally (yes, from sources in local government). A multinational pharmaceutical company opened a large, costly plant in China to manufacture medications for the Chinese market in China. Within weeks, reports trickled in that the medications didn't work and Chinese consumers were angry. It turned out that local entrepreneurs had begun shipping sugar pills in the exact containers used by the pharmaceutical giantworthless counterfeit pills, identical in shape, size, feel, and packaging, were being shipped all over China.

The pharmaceutical giant closed the plant. What choice did they have?

This was of course hushed up; only the local government and the managers knew the truth.

The pharmaceutical giant had learned a painful but important lesson: not only can you prosper without doing in business in China, your business in China will fail if your products can be counterfeited, pirated or copied. Your recourse is zero. MUCH MORE

As can be expected, China's state-run media is politicizing and stepping-up their rhetoric against Google.

Hong Kong, China (CNN) -- Chinese state media launched a fresh volley of articles attacking the "politicization" of Google after media reports suggest the Internet giant may soon officially pull out of China.

A Saturday editorial in China Daily, state media's English-language newspaper, headlined "China Doesn't Need a Politicized Google," began: "Google's actions show that the world's biggest search engine company has abandoned its business principles and instead shows the world a face that is totally politicized."

The editorials continued on Monday morning in a China Daily editorial entitled: "The biggest loser." Beginning with "When in Rome, do as the Romans do," the editorial harkened back to colonial eras in describing Google's threat to quit censoring its China Internet search engine. LINK

We don't believe that's the case in this instance, and while researching Google's policy on China, we found this testimony that clearly set-out Google's goals when they first entered the Chinese market:

Google response to Amnesty International action on censorship in China

(Excerpt)

At the outset, I want to acknowledge what I hope is obvious: Figuring out how to deal with China has been a difficult exercise for Google. The requirements of doing business in China include self-censorship something that runs counter to Google's most basic values and commitments as a company. Despite that, we made a decision to launch a new product for China Google.cn that respects the content restrictions imposed by Chinese laws and regulations. Understandably, many are puzzled or upset by our decision. But our decision was based on a judgment that Google.cn will make a meaningful though imperfect contribution to the overall expansion of access to information in China".

So with that framework in mind, we decided to try a different path, a path rooted in the very pragmatic calculation that we could provide more access to more information to more Chinese citizens more reliably by offering a new service Google.cn that, though subject to Chinese self-censorship requirements, would have some significant advantages. Above all, it would be faster and more reliable, and would provide more and better search results for all but a handful of politically sensitive subjects. We also developed several elements that distinguish our service in China, including:

  • Disclosure to users -- We will give notification to Chinese users whenever search results have been removed.
  • Protection of user privacy -- We will not maintain on Chinese soil any services, like email, that involve personal or confidential data. This means that we will not, for example, host Gmail or Blogger, our email and blogging tools, in China.
  • Continued availability of Google.com -- We will not terminate the availability of our unfiltered Chinese-language Google.com service.

Many, if not most, of you here know that one of Google's corporate mantras is "Don't be evil." Some of our critics and even a few of our friends think that phrase arrogant, or naïve or both. It's not. It's an admonition that reminds us to consider the moral and ethical implications of every single business decision we make.

We believe that our current approach to China is consistent with this mantra. Our hope is that our mix of measures, though far from our ideal, would accomplish more for Chinese citizens' access to information than the alternative. We don't pretend that this is the single "right" answer to the dilemma faced by information companies in China, but rather a reasonable approach that seems likely to bring our users greater access to more information than any other search engine in China. And by serving our users better, we hope it will be good for our business, too, over the long run. LINK

Finally, there is one more cite that explains what is really happening in China, and while we do have a certain amount of sympathy for corporations that outsourced American light and heavy manufacturing to China (excluding Google), we forcefully attempted to warn the United States and American corporations that outsourcing our industry and economy to China would come at the destruction of our own economy LINK and then again in another article titled "Wal-Mart & China Benefit America Loses." It was pure, unmitigated greed that motivated Corporate America to outsource our manufacturing and economy to China, and the result has been the destruction of our Middle-Class and an economy that is still struggling in a "Jobless Recovery" which we warned of as early as 2004; hopefully, the recent events prove that doing business with China comes an enormous cost to our national security and economy, and again, we are hoping that recent hard-learned lessons in China will wake-up corporate America and they will follow Google's example and tell China to play fair or get out of the game. It's time to bring American businesses back home and reinvigorate our own economy not reap profits at the expense of our own economic stability and destruction of everything that used to be known as the "American Dream."

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William Cormier Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

My Bio is as varied as my life. Approx. 4 years ago my twin sons murdered a Journalist in Pensacola, Fl., for 100K worth of "Magic The Gathering" playing cards and buried the body in my backyard. I was once a regular writer here, but PTSD from (more...)
 

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