Environmental Differences That Google Is Facing In China Media Essay

1853 words (7 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 Media Reference this

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The Peoples Republic of China operates an Internet filtering system which is widely considered to be one of the most sophisticated in the world. It works, in part, by inspecting web (HTTP) traffic to determine if specific keywords are present. These keywords relate to matters such as groups that the Chinese Government has banned, political ideologies that they consider unacceptable and historical events that the regime does not wish to have discussed.

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1. This interview illustrates the complex environment faced by companies who want to operate in other countries-political, technological, cultural, and ethical. Discuss in detail the specific environmental differences and difficulties that Google is facing in china?

United State Google is the leading Internet search engine company in the world which started providing its services in China in 2000.In China, the internet content was heavily censored by the government and users searching on Google’s site experienced inordinate delays. China’s Internet is completely state-owned and it is clear that the Chinese government wants to control what information flows into China and where. It seems that there are different kinds of government censorship. The first one is censorship of citizens within a country and the second one is censorship of citizens who is trying to access information outside. Chinese government put surveillance points at the routing level, domain level and application level to check what the internet user is looking for. Also, if the user want to access to the internet they have to sign an agreement not to access any information that threatens government security. Chinese culture also reflect Google and the people their rarely rely on email because they find the idea of leaving messages to be socially awkward so they prefer using mobile phone and short text message. Also, they prefer chatting and discussion face to face. Chinese user feels that Google is a foreign thing that entered their life so they didn’t accept it and they preferred to use their own search engine. Chinese people and government are trying to protect their culture, political, and their society form threatens (Google). If Google want to succeed it should respect the laws and regulations, respect the public interest of Chinese people and China’s culture and customs and shoulder due social responsibilities.

2. What is the “Great Firewall “of China? Explain the role of the “Firewall “in convincing Google to begin operation from within China instead of from foreign soil.

“Great Firewall of China” operates, in part, by inspecting TCP packets for keywords that are to be blocked. If the keyword is present, TCP reset packets are sent to both endpoints of the connection, which then close. However, because the original packets are passed through the firewall unscathed, if the endpoints completely ignore the firewall’s resets, then the connection will proceed unhindered. Once one connection has been blocked, the firewall makes further easy-to-evade attempts to block further connections from the same machine.

In our experiments we were accessing a website based in China (within the Chinese firewall) from several machines based in Cambridge, England (outside the Chinese firewall). The Chinese firewall system, as currently deployed, is known to work entirely symmetrically – detecting content to be filtered as it passes in both directions- and by issuing all the commands from the Cambridge end we avoided any possibility of infringing Chinese law.

3. Discuss the different methods by which the Chinese government obtains censorship of the sites. What compromises did Google’s executives make about how to operate in china? What service does the company offer and what have they decided not to offer in china? How did they decide which services to eliminate? What did Google learn from yahoo’s experience?

There are two main methods for censoring the web: For companies inside its borders, the government uses a broad array of penalties and threats to keep content clean For Websites that are outside the country, government has another impressively effective mechanism of control which called the great firewall of china. “so Google decide to do some compromises in its website by censoring the most politically sensitive web sites-religious groups, democracy groups…etc. so they decided not to offer e-mail or blogging service inside china .also, they decided not to take down the existing Chinese -language version of google.com engine, however they opened new website google.cn which was very fast arrived to the Chinese users. When Google wanted to eliminate some of their services, the government would not give them a list of websites so Google’s engineers found a solution by setting up a computer inside china and programmed it to try to access websites outside china to see which websites are blocked by firewall. Google learned from yahoo experience of handing over an e-mail user’s personal information to Chinese government .Google had avoided introducing any service that might get someone in jail.

4. Who are the stakeholders in this case? Discuss the concerns and rights of each set of stakeholders. How should Google prioritize the relative obligation that the company has towards those stakeholders?

In general there are two types of stakeholders, internal and external stakeholders, in this case the internal stakeholders are Google’s managers and employees, and the external are the government and the customers, the concern and the right of Google’s managers and employees is to have environment that encourage them to perform their job well and to be innovative, the concern of the Chinese government is to make sure that its regulations are not be violated , the concern of customers in china is not be able to enjoy Google’s service .Google should balance those obligations towards the stakeholders , because any shortening of one obligation will affect other stakeholders.

5.1. What role and responsibility does a technology company such as Google have towards society in general?

As others corporate and organizations in the world, technology companies have role and responsibility towards society, since most people in the world are rely heavily on technology companies such as Google to exchange and gain information, and to socialize, they have critical role to provide healthy environment for all ages to use the web. The role of Technology Company is to provide the human right of communication and to promote the right of free expression, at the same time it has responsibility to protect the society to remove any harmful and illegal contents on the web such as violence and pornography, and the can use a filtering system to restrict access to offensive pages on the web, and it should collaborate with governments to report any illegal data, for example Yahoo agreed to submit specific data to U.S government that are were useful to protect children from abuse them when they are using the internet.

5.2. Should the home company culture, ethics, and politics impact how the company operates in china?

I do not think that the company should conceder its home culture or politics where it operates in china, because china has special values, culture, ethics and polities that might be different from those in the company’s home country and china is very insistent that MNC in china should implement the Chinese polities, otherwise it is difficult to operate in china.

5.3. To what extent do you agree with those critics about how Google is going along with China’s censorship of the company’s sites?

Some people criticize Google because it always says that it is against the restriction on freedom of speech, Google CEO Eric Schmidt: ‘Strategies governments use trying to shut down people’s speech are terrible strategies and will not succeed”, this conflict between what they say and what are they doing actually in china makes some people feel that Google is hypocrite, however other people argue that the great fire wall would exit wither Google out or inside china.

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6. To what extent does a company like Google promote culture convergence around the world? Is this a good thing or not?

Company like Google is lowering the barriers between countries by allowing people to interact and socialize with people in other parts in the world, this will be good thing if people learn to be tolerant and accept other culture, however it will be a bad thing if bad or wrong values and habits will be transformed to other culture.

7. On balance do you agree or disagree with Google’s operation model in China? Can an imperfect Internet help change a society for the better? Whose role or responsibility is that? What if any thing would you do differently?

We are not agree with Google operation’s model because Google should think about the government policies and the culture attitudes. We don’t think so that imperfect Internet help change a society for the better and every government and people who live in the country has responsibility for improve their society. U.S. Internet companies understand that the status quo is not a viable option. Pressure from activists and the media is intense and growing, and the U.S. government has made it clear that it is watching the industry closely and might force costly actions if conditions do not improve. Employee morale is also bound to suffer at these companies as individual and corporate ethics are challenged and public image deteriorates. Given that they not prepared to give up the Chinese market or to defy China’s laws, these companies will need to chart an alternate path to address the human rights problem.

Recommendations

Companies should follow up on their early interest in working together and with outside parties such as the U.S. government and relevant NGOs with a firm commitment.

Leverage the U.S. government and be specific as possible about how the government can help it reach the mutual goals of respecting human rights while operating in China.

Test Chinese boundaries for example U.S. Internet companies can take advantage of the vagueness of Chinese law to move towards greater freedoms. If the companies cross the line, the Chinese government will likely give clear signals of their unhappiness before taking any draconian action.

Transparency because the fact that neither the U.S. government nor NGO stakeholders will want to support the industry if it lacks transparency. Many in the media and the public will assume the worst of the industry without proof of the advances made.

As long as a company is going to be held responsible in the court of public opinion for its actions in China, it will be better off having the control to direct those actions.

The Peoples Republic of China operates an Internet filtering system which is widely considered to be one of the most sophisticated in the world. It works, in part, by inspecting web (HTTP) traffic to determine if specific keywords are present. These keywords relate to matters such as groups that the Chinese Government has banned, political ideologies that they consider unacceptable and historical events that the regime does not wish to have discussed.

1. This interview illustrates the complex environment faced by companies who want to operate in other countries-political, technological, cultural, and ethical. Discuss in detail the specific environmental differences and difficulties that Google is facing in china?

United State Google is the leading Internet search engine company in the world which started providing its services in China in 2000.In China, the internet content was heavily censored by the government and users searching on Google’s site experienced inordinate delays. China’s Internet is completely state-owned and it is clear that the Chinese government wants to control what information flows into China and where. It seems that there are different kinds of government censorship. The first one is censorship of citizens within a country and the second one is censorship of citizens who is trying to access information outside. Chinese government put surveillance points at the routing level, domain level and application level to check what the internet user is looking for. Also, if the user want to access to the internet they have to sign an agreement not to access any information that threatens government security. Chinese culture also reflect Google and the people their rarely rely on email because they find the idea of leaving messages to be socially awkward so they prefer using mobile phone and short text message. Also, they prefer chatting and discussion face to face. Chinese user feels that Google is a foreign thing that entered their life so they didn’t accept it and they preferred to use their own search engine. Chinese people and government are trying to protect their culture, political, and their society form threatens (Google). If Google want to succeed it should respect the laws and regulations, respect the public interest of Chinese people and China’s culture and customs and shoulder due social responsibilities.

2. What is the “Great Firewall “of China? Explain the role of the “Firewall “in convincing Google to begin operation from within China instead of from foreign soil.

“Great Firewall of China” operates, in part, by inspecting TCP packets for keywords that are to be blocked. If the keyword is present, TCP reset packets are sent to both endpoints of the connection, which then close. However, because the original packets are passed through the firewall unscathed, if the endpoints completely ignore the firewall’s resets, then the connection will proceed unhindered. Once one connection has been blocked, the firewall makes further easy-to-evade attempts to block further connections from the same machine.

In our experiments we were accessing a website based in China (within the Chinese firewall) from several machines based in Cambridge, England (outside the Chinese firewall). The Chinese firewall system, as currently deployed, is known to work entirely symmetrically – detecting content to be filtered as it passes in both directions- and by issuing all the commands from the Cambridge end we avoided any possibility of infringing Chinese law.

3. Discuss the different methods by which the Chinese government obtains censorship of the sites. What compromises did Google’s executives make about how to operate in china? What service does the company offer and what have they decided not to offer in china? How did they decide which services to eliminate? What did Google learn from yahoo’s experience?

There are two main methods for censoring the web: For companies inside its borders, the government uses a broad array of penalties and threats to keep content clean For Websites that are outside the country, government has another impressively effective mechanism of control which called the great firewall of china. “so Google decide to do some compromises in its website by censoring the most politically sensitive web sites-religious groups, democracy groups…etc. so they decided not to offer e-mail or blogging service inside china .also, they decided not to take down the existing Chinese -language version of google.com engine, however they opened new website google.cn which was very fast arrived to the Chinese users. When Google wanted to eliminate some of their services, the government would not give them a list of websites so Google’s engineers found a solution by setting up a computer inside china and programmed it to try to access websites outside china to see which websites are blocked by firewall. Google learned from yahoo experience of handing over an e-mail user’s personal information to Chinese government .Google had avoided introducing any service that might get someone in jail.

4. Who are the stakeholders in this case? Discuss the concerns and rights of each set of stakeholders. How should Google prioritize the relative obligation that the company has towards those stakeholders?

In general there are two types of stakeholders, internal and external stakeholders, in this case the internal stakeholders are Google’s managers and employees, and the external are the government and the customers, the concern and the right of Google’s managers and employees is to have environment that encourage them to perform their job well and to be innovative, the concern of the Chinese government is to make sure that its regulations are not be violated , the concern of customers in china is not be able to enjoy Google’s service .Google should balance those obligations towards the stakeholders , because any shortening of one obligation will affect other stakeholders.

5.1. What role and responsibility does a technology company such as Google have towards society in general?

As others corporate and organizations in the world, technology companies have role and responsibility towards society, since most people in the world are rely heavily on technology companies such as Google to exchange and gain information, and to socialize, they have critical role to provide healthy environment for all ages to use the web. The role of Technology Company is to provide the human right of communication and to promote the right of free expression, at the same time it has responsibility to protect the society to remove any harmful and illegal contents on the web such as violence and pornography, and the can use a filtering system to restrict access to offensive pages on the web, and it should collaborate with governments to report any illegal data, for example Yahoo agreed to submit specific data to U.S government that are were useful to protect children from abuse them when they are using the internet.

5.2. Should the home company culture, ethics, and politics impact how the company operates in china?

I do not think that the company should conceder its home culture or politics where it operates in china, because china has special values, culture, ethics and polities that might be different from those in the company’s home country and china is very insistent that MNC in china should implement the Chinese polities, otherwise it is difficult to operate in china.

5.3. To what extent do you agree with those critics about how Google is going along with China’s censorship of the company’s sites?

Some people criticize Google because it always says that it is against the restriction on freedom of speech, Google CEO Eric Schmidt: ‘Strategies governments use trying to shut down people’s speech are terrible strategies and will not succeed”, this conflict between what they say and what are they doing actually in china makes some people feel that Google is hypocrite, however other people argue that the great fire wall would exit wither Google out or inside china.

6. To what extent does a company like Google promote culture convergence around the world? Is this a good thing or not?

Company like Google is lowering the barriers between countries by allowing people to interact and socialize with people in other parts in the world, this will be good thing if people learn to be tolerant and accept other culture, however it will be a bad thing if bad or wrong values and habits will be transformed to other culture.

7. On balance do you agree or disagree with Google’s operation model in China? Can an imperfect Internet help change a society for the better? Whose role or responsibility is that? What if any thing would you do differently?

We are not agree with Google operation’s model because Google should think about the government policies and the culture attitudes. We don’t think so that imperfect Internet help change a society for the better and every government and people who live in the country has responsibility for improve their society. U.S. Internet companies understand that the status quo is not a viable option. Pressure from activists and the media is intense and growing, and the U.S. government has made it clear that it is watching the industry closely and might force costly actions if conditions do not improve. Employee morale is also bound to suffer at these companies as individual and corporate ethics are challenged and public image deteriorates. Given that they not prepared to give up the Chinese market or to defy China’s laws, these companies will need to chart an alternate path to address the human rights problem.

Recommendations

Companies should follow up on their early interest in working together and with outside parties such as the U.S. government and relevant NGOs with a firm commitment.

Leverage the U.S. government and be specific as possible about how the government can help it reach the mutual goals of respecting human rights while operating in China.

Test Chinese boundaries for example U.S. Internet companies can take advantage of the vagueness of Chinese law to move towards greater freedoms. If the companies cross the line, the Chinese government will likely give clear signals of their unhappiness before taking any draconian action.

Transparency because the fact that neither the U.S. government nor NGO stakeholders will want to support the industry if it lacks transparency. Many in the media and the public will assume the worst of the industry without proof of the advances made.

As long as a company is going to be held responsible in the court of public opinion for its actions in China, it will be better off having the control to direct those actions.

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