Google’s Official Response to Google China

I’ve been waiting for this – Google’s official response to Google in China.

With so many denouncing Google’s move into China, it’s good to see the thoughts behind Google China.

Bill Thompson from the BBC argues that Google’s entry into China makes perfect sense.

Forgive me if I refuse to go along with the knee-jerk consensus on this one.

Millions of people may now be turning away from Google in disgust, but I’ve just reinstated them as the default search for my Firefox toolbar, because I think it should be supported for its brave decision.

Even if the primary motivation for going into China is that it makes commercial sense for the company – as indeed it must do, since US law is quite harsh on boards that take actions which could damage shareholder value – it also makes political sense.

Supporters of free speech and open societies should be supporting Google rather than lambasting it.

David Weinberger would have done the same if he was Google.

If forced to choose — as Google has been — I’d probably do what Google is doing. It sucks, it stinks, but how would an information embargo help? It wouldn’t apply pressure on the Chinese government. Chinese citizens would not be any more likely to rise up against the government because they don’t have access to Google. Staying out of China would not lead to a more free China.

Doc Searls believes into continuing the conversation with the Chinese goverment over the alternative.

I believe constant engagement — conversation, if you will — with the Chinese government, beats picking up one’s very large marbles and going home. Which seems to be the alternative.

I’d have to agree. I don’t see any alternative for Google to take. Staying out of China is a bad option financially and politically – If the ultimate goal is to affect change in China, staying out of China is not the way to go.