Famous for its company slogan “We don’t do evil”, will the Internet portal / search engine giant Google move out of the People’s Republic of China because doing business there just got too “Orwellian”?
By: Ringo Bones
Maybe the coordinated cyber-attacks by homegrown mercenary hackers hired by top Beijing communist party functionaries to disrupt its day to day online operations might have been easily shrugged off. But the overtly Orwellian snooping of top human rights activists’ G-mail accounts did prove the last straw that got the Internet portal / search engine giant Google to consider ending their corporate operations in the People’s Republic of China. Given that Mainland China is now the world’s largest and fastest growing Internet market, would Google eventually ending their corporate operations there due to the Beijing government's individual privacy rights violations that can make your typical ACLU lawyer squirm?
Criticized for betraying the idealism first put forth by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the materialistic and power mad excesses of Beijing’s communist party functionaries has fueled a growing culture of political dissention since the brutal suppression of the Tiananmen Square protest rally back in June 4, 1989. With the Internet becoming a runaway global phenomenon for over a decade now, human rights activists in the People’s Republic of China were one of the first ones to reach out to the world and tell everyone. Especially the truth about the socialist idyll that the Beijing communist party functionaries portray their country to be is nothing more than a big fat propaganda. Given Google’s worldwide reach – especially in the socially conscious and principled societies of America and Western Europe – its no mystery that the Beijing government got Orwellian on the Internet portal’s online infrastructure. But will Google continue to keep their decade or so old reputation as an exemplar of ethical business governance by simply looking the other way as its online infrastructure in the People’s Republic of China is used to suppress the civil liberties of the general population?
Cyber attacks or not, everyone’s growing consciousness over corporate social responsibility was probably the main driving force behind Google’s decision to ditch the potentially profitable online business of Mainland China. With increasing censorship by the Beijing government over the search engine company’s operation and state sponsored snooping of the G-mail accounts of prominent human rights activists. It is probably prudent for Google to consider ending their corporate operations in the People’s Republic of China even if homegrown Internet portal rival Baidu think that its hypocritical for Google to do so. After all, the idealism of the Haight-Ashbury Flower Power Revolution of the late 1960s is still fresh in the minds of Google’s founders and bondholders. Google should set an example in the corporate world that principles are more important than profits.