January 25, 2006

Google censors in China

by Brian Turner


Google has created a storm of criticism with the launch of its new Chinese Google search engine – because it automatically censors results for the Chinese authorities.

Censorship of information services is inevitable when doing business in China – Yahoo! and Microsoft have already launched search projects there that already do this.

However, Google’s motto of “Don’t do evil” has presented the image of a company with a sense of ethics.

That now presents something of a public relations problem, as not doing evil must be reconciled with tapping into lucrative business markets – even where ethical considerations are acute.

The number of internet search users in China is predicted to increase from about 100 million currently to 187 million in two years’ time – and therefore presents a consumer market that major US companies are keen to tap into directly.

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