Skip to main content

The Google Ultimatum



China, China...
Yes, Google.
Hacking our servers?
No, Google.
Telling a lie?
No, Google.
Show us logs of the Golden Shield Project.
Ha! Ha! Ha!

(If you are reading this, you are most probably not in China.)

When I first read the news of Google taking a new approach to China, I was full of cynicism.
We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.
It seemed like a PR strategy from Google. When Google decided to enter China, was it in a Rip Van Winkle's dream? Suddenly after 4 years it woke up and realised oh no, its not Switzerland, its China! But my doubts were "filtered" away when I researched it; through Google of course.

By shutting down in China, Google will lose a potentially huge market. According to estimates by J.P. Morgan, Google will stand to lose 600 million dollars in revenue in 2010 alone. That's not a small figure by any standard. Also, Google's exit will benefit Baidu, China's most popular search engine used by 70% of the population. So, financially it bodes well for Google to toe the Chinese line like Yahoo! did when it shared personal information of human rights activists with Chinese authorities which resulted in jail terms of 10 years for two of them.

This decision shows Google's foresightedness. May be a reason why Google does not have its Gmail or other apps server in China is that it always knew that something like this would happen. It takes some spine to stand upto the oppressive Chinese government which does not take criticism lightly.

On the other hand, the decision to not filter any results would take away the fun we had by comparing the results of "Tianamen Square Massacre" on Google.cn and Google.com. No wonder this has been the most searched item on Google.cn since the filters were lifted.

Finally let's come to the big question - Will this decision by Google affect China and its people? NO.

Chinese anyways use Baidu with Google being used there by only a few white-collared people. China may face some heat for next few days but in the end everything will be back to normal as other companies like Yahoo! and Microsoft will scramble to fill the void created by Google's exit. In fact, Microsoft China ex-President has even termed Google's decision as "foolish".


Flowers placed at Google's China Office
after the announcement

But amidst all this, Google has lived upto its motto of "Don't Be Evil" and its deserves an applause for this. Well done Google!

Comments

  1. great post...continue....i have never read such an objective view abt anything...

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

As far as possible, please refrain from posting Anonymous comments. I would really love to know who is interested in my blog! Also check out the FAQs section for the comment policy followed on this site.

Popular posts from this blog

Integrating React with SonarQube using Azure DevOps Pipelines

In the world of automation, code quality is of paramount importance. SonarQube and Azure DevOps are two tools which solve this problem in a continuous and automated way. They play well for a majority of languages and frameworks. However, to make the integration work for React applications still remains a challenge. In this post we will explore how we can integrate a React application to SonarQube using Azure DevOps pipelines to continuously build and assess code quality. Creating the React Application Let's start at the beginning. We will use npx to create a Typescript based React app. Why Typescript? I find it easier to work and more maintainable owing to its strongly-typed behavior. You can very well follow this guide for jsx based applications too. We will use the fantastic Create-React-App (CRA) tool to create a React application called ' sonar-azuredevops-app '. > npx create-react-app sonar-azuredevops-app --template typescript Once the project creation is done, we

Proud to be a Bihari?

After nearly an year, this December I had a chance to visit Bihar. My visits normally consist of resting in my home in Patna and occasional visits to my uncle's place. But this time it was different. I had to go to Gaya to attend my cousin sister's marriage ceremony. Stepping out of Patna made me question - Am I really proud to be a Bihari? Patna is like any other city in India, struggling with pollution, traffic jams, crime, etc. Being snuggled in my bed in Patna had made me forget the reality of what Bihar really is; after all its been nearly 10 years since I had traveled to any town outside of Patna in Bihar. So, the illusion was broken the moment my uncle's brand new Maruti A-Star moved out of outskirts of Patna, to what is supposedly the "National Highway". If you haven't guessed it already, its an apology of a road.

Centralized Configuration for .NET Core using Azure Cosmos DB and Narad

We are living in a micro services world. All these services are generally hosted in Docker container which are ephemeral. Moreover these service need to start themselves up, talk to each other, etc. All this needs configuration and there are many commercially available configuration providers like Spring Cloud Config Server, Consul etc. These are excellent tools which provide a lot more functionality than just storing configuration data. However all these have a weakness - they have a single point of failure - their storage mechanism be it a file system, database etc. There are ways to work around those but if you want a really simple place to store configuration values and at the same time make it highly available, with guaranteed global availability and millisecond reads, what can be a better tool than Azure Cosmos DB! So I set forth on this journey for ASP.NET Core projects to talk to Cosmos DB to retrieve their configuration data. For inspiration I looked at Steeltoe Con