Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Google, China, and Keeping Up With the News

"Google-China move hurts businesses, academics"
CNN (March 23, 2010)

"Businesses and universities could be substantially affected by the departure of Google from China.

"Most of the country's nearly 400 million Internet users may not be affected by the closure. But academics, university students and other researchers rely heavily on Google's search services to access information not available through Chinese search engines, like, China's most popular search portal. Small businesses that depend on Google applications such as Google Docs and Gmail may also suffer, analysts said.

"A recent survey of more than 700 Chinese scientists conducted by the journal Nature found that 80 percent regularly use Google to search for academic papers while 60 percent said they use the site to stay on top of new research...."

Oops. By the time this article was posted (3:58 p.m. EDT), ZDNet and others were discussing recent developments. It's so hard to keep up, these days.

I see the point: academics and small business operators who depend on Google services would be hurt if Google won't cooperate with the Chinese leadership's preference that the masses be fed 'correct' information. On the other hand, I think Google made a reasonable choice. They've got their reputation to consider, and playing censor for a workers' paradise wouldn't improve their image. In many circles, anyway.

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