After Hours

Google's exit: Is China just a money pit?

It's official. Google has stopped censoring Chinese search results. We discuss what this move means for the company, the country, and the Internet.

Podcast

It's official. Google has stopped censoring Chinese search results. We discuss what the move means for the company, the country, and the Internet.

The Big Question is a joint production from ZDNet and TechRepublic that I co-host with ZDNet Editor in Chief Larry Dignan.

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About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.

154 comments
VOMIChairman
VOMIChairman

About time! Being that I was born and raised during my early years in a dictatorship, I have strong feelings toward this subject. Unless you've ever lived in a dictatorship, it's really hard to imagine what that feels like. In any case, for a while I was concerned it was like Obama's fake endorsement of a public option that he never even bothered to fight for. Whatever Google loses from China, it can make up elsewhere in other parts of the world. In any case, I would rather have 1000 small customers than 1 big customer who can squeeze my testicles and make me holler uncle anytime he chooses. Therefore, in both the short and long run, it's a good business move for Google. That also sends a message to other despots, dictators, and light dictators (as in light cigarettes) around the world who are also our very close friends that it's not our job to coddle them. They are always FREE to filter Google's information ON THEIR OWN and WE respect their right to do so in their own country. We don't want to--and nor should we--impose our own values on them and vice-versa. It's up to their [any nation's] people to hold their government accountable for their actions and it's not Google's job to decide what's right for the Chinese, Saudis or, as a matter of fact, any other nationality. However, that being said, it's not Google's job to ignore its own values and assist these despots, dictators, and democratic-free leaders (as in fat-free) in their actions.

JCitizen
JCitizen

Yeah! Google! Without being able to serve all information for Chinese businessmen, Google's services weren't doing them any good any way. Free open information is the only way to get ahead in the business climate. China just did us a favor for forcing Google to realize this. Now the free world will easily compete with the Chinese juggernaut! And no, arthurborges, I am NOT a paid shill to anyone. I am my own captain of destiny! And so far, a bright one at that!

mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

They are run by a small group of power hungry, scared men who can't handle any "waves" in their society. So, they will jerk anyone around for any reason. All they do is use the lure of "possible" profits to fool people into spending their money is China and the screw them.

davidmaxwaterman+techrepublic
davidmaxwaterman+techrepublic

While US people might distinguish between the Chinese gov and the Chinese people, the Chinese people don't find it so easy, and they've reacted negatively against Google's stance. I doubt Google will ever be successful in PRC now...they'll have to pull of some serious PR trick to win the Chinese people back, especially when they weren't that important to the Chinese people anyway.

valduboisvert
valduboisvert

Lots of wishing thinking on some posts here. No one is better than the other. There is more than the eye can read in the news. It always was, will always be. Google made a correct strategic decision and I give them credit for that, while China has a pretty consistent attitude with their communist dictatorship orientation. I can not label either of them as "bad" or "wrong", but only as correct and consistent. Now, the fact that the whole conflict was sold to the entire planet as sort of an ethical issue is another story. And China it is not quite a money pit. They offer cheap workforce and as long as you can stop them stealing your technology or backstabbing you, you will end up being more profitable.

austin
austin

You know, you know, you know, you know, you know Larry.

surentharp
surentharp

it's the advantage for the people, the chinese people ruling the internet while google censored,now the google uncensored so who losing it - i think not chinese people and it's government

angela380in
angela380in

This is just so sad to hear that even Google is leaving China. This is not a free country, and yet people don't even realize it. There is something that needs to be done before the Chinese are empowered by the emperors again!!!!!!!!!

BruceEArnold
BruceEArnold

This was a very interesting discussion, but... After listening to the guys say "you know" about 100 times it was like Chinese Water Torture. I could only stand about 50 percent of the talk before I quit. Other choice words were also used that don't belong in a professional discussion.

th35had0w
th35had0w

Bravo Google. The Chinese government has every right to set it's own censorship standards and policies. Every country does. Whilst I have my own views on what China does, I won't pretend to have any real understanding of the complexeties and challenges that they face. Well done Google for going in in the first place and sacrificing some of their core values to try and 'make nice' with a new and growing global neighbor / participant. At the end of the day, Google also has a similar right with what they deem the apropriate use and application of their product / brand name. Is the Google product to be used for the internet, or should it regionalized and modified on a per country basis? If the latter is true, then it should be renamed on a per country basis. If the former is true, then the country must use it 'as is' or not at all.

Flametorrent
Flametorrent

..about the whole.. google and your private data. Hospital records are now paperless, so they have everything about you online too. The future is in the internet and everything will soon be there, if not already there. Personally, I have nothing but my social security number to hide. I wouldn't want everyone in the world knowing my address and phone number, but that's only because I already have enough friends and don't want creepy people coming over and talking to me. I think people are getting into whatever hype there is at the time. Like in the year 2000. "We're all going to die!" Lol, it's 2010. 10 years later. ..wait. What if we -did- die, and this is all a dream? Whatever the case, I think Google getting out of (C)hina was a good move. They don't want them there anyways! Did you see the news and comments left by the populous? They really don't want Google there. For me, Google's move made me trust them a bit more. No cover ups, and no "I'm going to block these people from this as long as so and so money money cash a few bucks money $$$ cash a few more bucks and a small favor". Man, I would love working for Google. I really feel like going down that slide and getting some soda.

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