I find today’s tech news about about Google’s decision to refuse to censor Chinese results to be rather fascinating. There’s talk about how Google is threatening to pull out of China and open up their searches without the filters after they concluded that there were recent security breaches by parties that were under the direction of the Chinese government.
But in what is a great public relations play, Google is maneuvering this into how they’re supporting anti-censorship efforts, when it’s really a business strategy gamble. The threat of Google moving out of China really doesn’t scare the Chinese government at all, and I doubt that it was anything but to incite more loyalty in other parts of the world where Google reigns king; after all, no one comes close to unseating the current Chinese search giant, Baidu, which owns anywhere between 62% and 75% of the Chinese search market share. But it puts Google out in the open on how they’re very annoyed with the fact that their property was violated and instead of keeping quiet about it, they went ahead and spoke out against it.
The Chinese government, on the other hand, is in a position of strength when it comes to the negotiations; there’s not a good reason to back down from a business perspective since they don’t win out anywhere. Chances are that each side will go their separate ways and it’ll allow for the status quo to remain while each side claims victory. In the end, the anti-censorship searches will be short-lived and Google will then be freed from the dog-and-pony show while the rest of the market scrambles to divide up its search shares.