Google in China
Google in China
Q1: What philosophical principles did Google’s managers adopt when deciding that the benefits of operating in China outweighed the costs. Google’s managers made the decision to operate in China because of vast profit assumptions and predictions. Therefore they had to adopt to the local Chinese habits and the governments restraints and regulations. But to which philosophical approach does this behavior refers to? Maybe on the first sight it seems to be either the Cultural Relativism or the Friedman Doctrine. But there are some details negating this. First Google is not acting after the Friedman doctrine as they are not 100% pragmatic and rational. Google does concern about the major Chinese people’s needs and wished for free speech and freedom in general. They don’t adopt but the adapt and there is the crucial difference. They try to follow their own principles and want to provide “the greatest amount of information possible”.
This indicates, and is definitly the intension by Google, that thy do not agree with Chinese regulations. At least some informations are more than nothing. Furthermore they decided to sign cencored and restraint websides for the customer’s awereness. And it is not the Cultural Relativism because of the actual easy reason that censoring and surpression are not a part of the Chinese culture. It is more just the surpression by a tyrant regime. The right approach Google’s following ist the Utilitarian Philosophy. It says “an action is just desirable if it leads to best possible balance of good consequences over bad consequences” (Hill, 2009) and “. An Utilitarian considers all consequences and “focuses attention on the need to weigh carefully all the social benefits and costs of a business action and to pursue only those actions where the benefits outweigh the costs” (Hill, 2009).
Q2: Do you think that Goggle should have entered China and engaged in self-censorship, given the company’s long-standing mantra “Don’t be evil”? Is it better to engage in self-cencorship than have the government censor for you? It might be trivial but the issues of language and of course the cultural and religious dfferences Google has to face would probably have led to a bad misunderstanding. Would Chinese people understand that evila is another word for bad and not the christian approach of Satan. It might be possible this wouldn’t have been confirmed by the government. Secondly the new mantra used in China implicates some criticism. It is better to engage in self-censorship for Google because the government would likey surpress and censor in arbitrariness and more widly than Google itself. The providers service would become degenerated and actually useless.
Q3: If all foreign search engine companies declined to invest directly in China due to concerns over censorship, what do you think the results would be? Who would benefit from this action? Who would lose the most? First the direct investment in China stimulates the economy and probaply helps local start-ups and the the labor over all. Jobes are created and a raising prosperity is the long-term result. Thus the first benefit is financial. Of course the government benefits as well but the major advance and improvement will be determined for the people. Secondly the foreign search engine companies provide definitly more information than the Chinese ones and in matter of this it is nearly the most impartant factor to be able to separate and the distinguish between information and to create an own opinion. Even information is restricted it better than have just one governmental company like Baidu. The benefit is the people’s one as well. So I conclude the largest loss in case foreign companies decline to invest is on the proper people’s and customer’s side in oppose to the government and the companies itselfs(they benefit by profit of course). The biggest winner can only be the government because it keeps its monopol of information the influence the people.