There were many arguments for and against Google going into China like legal, cultural, and ethical challenges facing Google when the decision was made to provide services to China. When Google entered China, locations and hosted servers were maintained by Chinese employees in addition to strict censorship regulations governed by the Chinese government. Google was faced with managing employees and a business that followed different laws and cultures compared to their American counterparts.
Arguments For | Argument Against |
Rapidly growing internet population | Strict Government regulation |
Source of revenue and talent | Cultures |
One of the fastest growing economies | Breaking own “Code of ethics” |
| Violating Ethical Standards |
2. From an ethical perspective, what are the arguments for and against entering the market for Internet search in China in 2005?
From the ethical perspective Google has an obligation as a Multinational corporation toward human rights, corruption, and freedom of speech. Google’s values are to make the world’s information “universally accessible and useful” and to its informal corporate motto, “Don’t Be Evil”? Going into China the Chinese government as a communist government did not want information made readily available to the public for any content pertaining to certain topics or issues (i.e. the Tibetan opposition, or human rights organization information). The internet freedom that Americans enjoy is “not” the same internet freedom enjoyed by people in China.
3. If Google decides to enter China, how can it do so while mitigating ethically adverse impacts? Please formulate possible options and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.
The two main issues facing Google today center on the potential ethical dilemma of operating in a country that violates fundamental human rights, specifically freedom of expression and thought, and the company’s obligation to its shareholders. The company still has many options in light of the ways that it could work to mitigate adverse ethical impacts.
Strategy 1. Focus on shareholders and be ethically reasonable. Comply with the Chinese government in the short-term while working to establish new guidelines.
The strength to this strategy is to be able to address financial needs of Google’s shareholders by taking advantage of China’s growing economy and increasing internet usage, while still complying to the governments demands but also as Google market-shares increase in China then it might be able to coerce the government to cooperate on a censorship guidelines that meets the governments requirements, but also allows Google to maintain its ethical standards. Weakness to this strategy is the ability for Google to capture market shares.
Strategy 2. Maintain High ethical standards and leave China and its growing market.
As a multinational corporation Google should be committed to maintaining high ethical and moral standards. Google can withdraw completely from the Chinese market and focus on other potential markets. The strengths to this strategy are it would satisfy other stakeholders and be able to keep Google’s positive brand image and it would affirm its anti-censorship from an ethical viewpoint. Weakness to this is it would completely miss out on China’s market and would hurt the shareholders who see the financial potential of the Chinese market.
4. What do you think Google should do, and why?
Based on the varying socially responsible and ethical considerations, Google should not enter the Chinese market. Each individual corporation and person has an obligation to maintain its own values and ethics. It should not at any circumstances violate its own beliefs, values and credo. Entering the Chinese market would contradict Google’s own beliefs and values by agreeing to censor and limit information to the