Google China Hacking Brouhaha Raises Business Concerns

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on January 15, 2010

Google’s decision to come out swinging over what it says was “highly sophisticated” Chinese hacking into its computer systems is heightening concerns that China’s business environment is far less hospitable than many have hoped. Since the world’s largest search engine made its surprise announcement Jan. 12, Adobe Systems, Juniper Networks, and Rackspace Hosting have all said their securities systems had also been breached.

And illustrating just how carefully foreign companies still have to tread in China, Bloomberg reported today that Google approached other victims of the Chinese hacking, hoping to get them to join the search engine in publicizing the problem, but had been “frustrated by their reluctance to come forward.”

In the same Bloomberg report, Chip-maker Intel said it had no evidence of a “broad-based attack” on its systems, and networking equipment-maker Cisco was quoted saying that since it “doesn’t participate in the censorship of information by any government, we cannot comment regarding the specifics of any of our industry peers.” (It’s not clear whether either company was one of the 20 that Google earlier said were targeted.)

But worries about upsetting Beijing’s notoriously prickly regulators didn’t stop the American Chamber of Commerce in China from speaking out. In an announcement apparently pushed forward in response to the hacking brouhaha, the Chamber reported Jan. 14 that its 2010 Business Climate Survey (which has not yet been released) showed that member companies “are optimistic, but concerned, on China.” Amcham worries “about the security of commercial correspondence, data and networks,” and “the free flow of information, protection of intellectual property rights and uniform application of the law facilitating commercial activity for both Chinese and foreign companies,” the statement continued. Google, Intel, and Cisco are all Chamber members.

Worries about information security are hardly the only issue riling foreign investors in China. Just as egregious many believe, are government edicts requiring local governments to buy Chinese-made products whenever possible. This issue was highlighted by the American Chamber in its 2009 business climate survey last April and almost certainly will be again when the 2010 version is released later this spring.

Despite the concerns, the Chinese market is still too big to ignore: foreign direct investment in China doubled in December to $12.1 billion, China’s commerce ministry announced in Beijing today. “Yes, growth is up. Yes the Chinese economy is booming,” says Duncan Clark, chairman of BDA China, a Beijing-based Internet and telecom consultancy. “But this has been one of the most difficult operating environments for business I remember in my 15 years here.” Citing Beijing’s continuing plans to require foreign banks and other companies to use domestic encryption technology, the buy-local rules, and the hacking incident, Clark adds: “It seems like kicking foreigners in the teeth is in these days.”

That the Google brouhaha has sparked business concerns hardly comes as a surprise. Perhaps less expected, it has also provoked heated reaction from officials in both Beijing and Washington. At a commerce ministry press conference, spokesman Yao Jian had some conciliatory words for investors: “Any decision by Google to withdraw from China will not affect Sino-U.S. trade relations,” he said. But Yao then went on to accuse the U.S. of “backsliding” toward protectionism with its trade actions against Chinese tires and steel pipes, and also demanded that “multinationals’ parent countries, including Google’s home country, step up oversight of their companies’ overseas’ businesses,” Bloomberg reported.

Washington, for its part, is hardly sitting on the sidelines. U.S. officials are planning to issue a formal protest or demarche and demand an explanation from China about the alleged Google hacking incident. Deputy-assistant secretary of state for East Asia David Shear met with Chinese envoys in Washington Thursday to express concern and gather information, Bloomberg reported. And Obama’s top economics advisor Lawrence Summers weighed in yesterday with strong words of support for Google’s actions: “The principles that Google is trying to uphold are not just important in a moral or human rights framework but are also of very considerable economic importance,” Summers told reporters at the White House. As China develops further, it will “find that issues of information flow are economically very important,” he continued.

Reader Comments

jambo

January 15, 2010 11:52 AM

I've worked with the Chinese for more than 20 years. I can tell you the people are fantastic, but when it comes to business, the govt and the (rich) party members control it, and they are the worst of the worst. The American companies operate their business there as if they are in the US which is a huge mistake. It's like a bunch of gold fishes in a tank of sharks. But because of greed, the goldfishes want to swim with the sharks. In no time, the little fishes are devoured and destroyed, but they are too dumb to realize it.

Baidu Share Owner

January 15, 2010 12:15 PM

Which is quite true. Baidu was hacked the other day with its home page display Iranian republican guards.

Curt D

January 15, 2010 12:30 PM

Google and China are bringing up a 21st century battle of democracy and freedom verse Communism and restricted personal freedom. When we started using cloud computing systems we saw the HUGE area of security problems being created in cross country internet usage. Thrown in that the entire world is "outsourcing" computer stuff to Southeast Asian countries, and you have a plan for these socio-technology issues going to ahead. We study search demand/supply trends from around the world to find profitable niches and products. A niche, or hot predictions, is not just a demand side issue, but a supply/demand curve. If you predict IPHONE apps will take off, and there are already 100,000 aps, then you aren't going to hit that one. If you see that demand for cell phone radiation shields is going nuts and there are only two suppliers, then you can be pretty sure that it will be a good year for those 2 supplies. The software at www.TheInternetTimeMachine.com studies both the demand (search volume) and supply (think "results" in Google). The Google Phone is generating much more buzz right now then say the Apple Tablet.
Cheers,
Curt
Here is a video on what I mean.. http://bit.ly/SupplyDemandCurves

Thomas Huynh

January 15, 2010 1:55 PM

Thank you, Dexter, for highlighting this issue. Trustworthiness is core to any business endeavor, and in fact, trust is the main reason why Google has succeeded in the highly competitive industry it is in. The question we all need to ask ourselves is who has more credibility in this conflict: Google or China. In addition, to say that Google leaving China has no impact on Sino-US relations points to an arrogance that conforms to much of the actions taken so far. China, as much as any nation, knows flexibility and benevolence are keys to harmony.

Sincerely,
Thomas Huynh
Sonshi.com

JJW

January 15, 2010 2:39 PM

Difficult investment environment? Let's be real. Everything is RELATIVE. Try investing in Africa, South Asia, South America, Eastern Europe, there are hurdles everywhere you go. Difficult time-zone, culture, environment, language, bureaucracy, corruptions, crime, so on and so forth. One thing seems obvious is that only those "losers" who can't make it there come out swinging and whining like crybabies. Did you see GM, GE, Toyota, Honda, VW, BMW, Nissan, Boeing yell "unfair"? Would you let a Chinese media firm "brainwashing" your own citizens?

Jan

January 15, 2010 10:03 PM

China is not the US's backyard. Why should y expect everything is to yr taste? Just because y think y're number one, if y don't bully anybody in one day, people are going to forget that?
Actually google doesn't offer the Chinese language search service better than Baidu. Baidu offers result in simplified Chinese completely, google doesn't. Baidu offers automatically erasing key words searched, with google, y have to set it up yourself. So pull out pls, not going to be missed. But google is going to regret it immensely in the future

alsdf

January 16, 2010 7:07 AM

They have taken the cue from the soldiers and military personnel to look macho in their camouflaged outfits.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata-/Jute-barons-bro-held/articleshow/175393.cms

patricio

January 16, 2010 9:39 AM

Self Introduction
NAME PATRICIO
Professional spanish language
AGE 22
Duty Student
E-mail yannecha@hotmail.com
hello.google!My program is very successful!!To defeat any one Internet company on Earth!!I am very excited to be able to recognize Google.com!Only Google can do such a task With its software!!
I want to do before the raffle is a system for global...
Other information,I can not disclose.I want to do a very great thing for google..
To overcome all the world's Internet companies,Including yahoo.com .msn.com QQ.com alibaba.com.Might bring a revolution in the Internet
i can do it !!!
I need to have technical team!
It is the owner of Google!!

what is google ,Its name contains almost all of the things..Be able to overcome all the difficulties of the world.
but,now The difficulties encountered in the Chinese market.
Ask Google itself!!How can be coupled with Google's name!!!
China's traditional thinking is very great,Has given me the confidence to defeat all that difficult !!
google.com !!i need you help me !! you need me to help you !!!
I hope that the U.S. decision-makers be able to see my article

Mark

January 16, 2010 12:06 PM

What a stupid excuse? Google has to admit its defeat in the Chinese market, and gracefully exit. Shame on google.

DanTe

January 16, 2010 3:57 PM

Finally Western companies are starting to wake up to the Mainland Chinese specialty: STEALING. You will never stop it, you will never change it. Just buy the cheap commodity products from Mainland China and stop wasting time thinking you can build an intellectual property base over in the land of communism. Anyone with even half a brain knows that the words Intellectual Communist is an oxymoron.

joeliu58

January 16, 2010 5:51 PM

China has not adapted free market economic nor democracy yet. The 1st and 2nd generation leaders are all pro-democracy; but they decided that Chinese people are not ready for it. Chinese has many races and they are looking to break away/revolt. Just last century, culture revolution has created such chaos, Chinese economic was throw back 50 years. Sorry to say, until the culture revolution generation fades away, China cannot lose control of its society. [80% of people age 60 and up has only 1th grade eduction or no education. Do you think that these people can vote?] Free political speech is not something China can afford at this moment.

pjm

January 16, 2010 6:03 PM

Someone needs to do a report on the Rio Tinto victims. Arrested for being too good at their jobs. Negotiating with the Chinese

WV

January 16, 2010 6:45 PM

If our government can monitor every communication we have in the USA, and go into any file it chooses! What`s the big hype? The Chinese government is just another NSA to their country. I think Google should stay in china, fix it`s problems with the Chinese gov.

C. H. Ng

January 16, 2010 7:10 PM

Lets face reality....Nothing in this world is F A I R. When investing in another country you have to follow their rule, not yours....simple as that.

As for the hacking issue, what's the fuss anyway? Many hackers, individual or government, have been doing it & they all come from various countries. Are Google & the people in BW are trying to say only the Chinese government does it? And how sophisticated she is or can be when compared with the American in terms of hacking or spying surveillance? Just look at how the US government has been conducting endless espinoages in many countries whom she deems as security threats to her grip on being the sole power in this world. So what is hacking which is "tame" in comparison?

So if Google wants to leave, just leave.
Nobody is stopping you & I don't think China & her people as well as your competitors are going to miss you.

Steven

January 16, 2010 8:17 PM

It is difficult to let Google to addmit the incompetetiveness.

Chinese domestic internet content service companies have beated several giant conterparts from US already. Google is just the latest one.

On search engine market, China's Baidu (Private company) dominates with almost 70% of market share. Google struggles for 4 years with huge investments, no big changes. Yahoo had the same experience, no Yahoo transfered all its Chinese business to Chinese company for 1 billion US$.

China's Taobao (Private company) beated Ebay in E-business market. Ebay had to quit.

China's QQ (Private company) beats any instant messenger service providers with hundreds of millions of users. Simply no one can compete. QQ numbers become the same import numbers as phone numbers in China for contacting with friends and business partners.

Search engine market definitely has been experiencing censorship in China, the problem is that Google cooperated with Chinese gov for several years and has been competing against Baidu in the same environment, but it is still a loser.

E-business and instant messenger markets are pretty free from politics, US companies still cannot win. The most importand behind is the culture and the knowledge of Chinese market.

Google simply wants a graceful exit from China for business reasons. It is not secret for China has a censorship policy in place and the the policy existed before Google entered the market. If Google is really such as company put "political moral" in such a important place, why it entered China?

cup

January 16, 2010 9:41 PM

Google itself and Google investors should really be worry and pay a close attention to Google's business future from now on. On the surface, the issue seems to be a battle between Google and Chinese censorship, but the real message here is that Google management is utterly not competent in properly handling its international expansion. When a company grows too fast to allow itself enough time for correcting its internal system flaws and excesses, it often follows rapid decline from the top because most founders of the company may not be the best people for managing rapidly expanding businesses. From the start, Google clearly not only underestimated Baidu’s capabilities but also innovative flexibilities of Chinese entrepreneurs like Robin Li and Jack Ma. For Google to be successful in China, three things should be considered. First, Google should consider spinning off its China business and making a plan for it to stay in China long term. Second, Google should understand better on Chinese customs for historically being conservative on pornography. Actually Google can proactively help to promote healthy living habits as well as aids prevention by providing online sex education contents. Third, Google should pay attention to its management structure and start to make smoother transition from a "one time wonder" to a "built to last" company. If AOL and Yahoo can fail, Google can fail too as search type of businesses can be easily done by others.

Henry L.

January 16, 2010 11:12 PM

I think for those US companies operating in China to expect fair treatment is dreaming. This applies no matter where you operate and that is.. you have to follow the rule of the host country regardless how biased or unfair it is. The problem is that these large US companies are used to haveing things their way and backed up by the US government to do the arm twisting and the Media to spread popular negative setiments. The problem with China is that it will not be twisted easily and don't care too much about western media. Looks like China learned too well from the Americans..."you want to play in my back yard you play by my rules"

Steven

January 17, 2010 1:12 AM

http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1954184,00.html?xid=rss-topstories#ixzz0cor0ZUp3

This articles basically sums up the Chinese media and internet related business.

About the moral, google is very close to its own definition of "evil".

In May 2008, 22-year-old India IT professional Rahul Krishnakumar Vaid. wrote rogue words in an orkut community named I hate Sonia Gandhi. Google owns orkut. Google provided all information related to the poor guy at Indian government's request including Gmail. This guy was traced by the email and arrested, now he is facing possible 5 years in jail.

This is not the first time Google help Indian government about its service users. In 2007 Google provided User's IP address to Police leading to an errantic Arrest another Indian orkut user. He was put in jail for 50 days. The poor Indian guy used the same bowl for rice and pee. The reason is that he defamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on Orkut. Google provided the user's IP address and the police asked help from an Indian ISP company. The worst thing is that the Indian ISP traced wrongly to this poor guy.

Don't belive me? Simply go to search the names of the poor guys. Google claimed thatit has to obey local laws. Why not obey laws in China?

fairplay

January 17, 2010 9:07 AM

When you do business in another country you can never expect equal or 'fair' treatment .You can sulk or you can grieve but that is life. Same for China when she was sidelined in Austrailia or the USA

Gezz

January 17, 2010 9:10 AM

The month of January 2010 is not over yet, and Google has already made two bogus claims.

1) Google's Nexus One is not a Google Phone. The hardware itself is by HTC, and the software, OS Android, is by Google. How on earth Google claims it is Google Phone when it is manufactured by HTC. Also, Nexus One alike has been on the market two years ago in Asia, ie. Russia and India. This bogus claim is a black eye to its shareholders.

2) Google cannot operating successfully in China, so they shift the blame, making believe that it is China's business unfriendly environment. Another bogus claim to lie to its shareholders. Google denies defeat.

What a shame.

tanner

January 17, 2010 10:16 AM

Someone should tell Google’s executives to take China 101 course. They are too naïve that the Chinese government will buckle under Google’s pressure to exit Chinese market.

Current the top Chinese Government’s policy is social stability, economic development to get rid of the 800 million people from poverty by way of urbanized 500 million Chinese from the rural area within 20 years, developing and integrating their military strength to deter invader as well as to regain Taiwan to the motherland if necessary by force.

Social stability is the Numero Uno priority in the mind of the Chinese leadership. With numerous undereducated populations, the country cannot effort the chaotic situation just like what had happened in Iran last year because of twitter and facebook. Censorship is a necessary evil that cannot be compromised at this point of time, when the time come lifting the censorship has become a natural course. It can only happen when the living standard of the average Chinese is up to the level of the developed nations.

Google made a lot of noise recently due to the recent attack on their computer accusing prying the anti-government activists’ account. Let’s look at some of the facts.
Fact No. 1. Despite of the large investment, Google only holds around 30% of the search engine market share in China while the late comer Baidu gets 60%, as a result low ROI for Google.
Fact No. 2. Google is facing the looming lawsuit on the unauthorized book scanning on Google’s net library. Google only offers US$60 compensation for each which makes all the Chinese authors furious. Apparently this is an act of disrespectful to the authors and against the copyright law.

The cyber attacked happen everyday from everywhere around the globe. Quite frequently no one can pinpoint exactly the source of the attack. Similarly did Google attack Baidu a few days ago??? Who knows ! As far as the censorship is concern, the US, France, Australia, Singapore, etc all have the censorship law. Why do you think the communist party cannot survive in the US? It is because of 80 years of continuous terror and censorship to the party members even up to now. I don’t think it is the behavior of free speech and a democratic society should have and consequently against the first amendment in the US Constitutions. Don’t you know that every telephone call, facsimile, email, SMS, money transfer are being monitor in the US by the giant computer belongs to the government under the name of “terror act”.

Therefore Google’s exit strategy is only to cover up the shortcoming for China strategy. Would the Chinese government consider this as an important issue, the answer is definitely no. The Chinese government would not even budge in the past to open up the internet from many western developed countries including the US, why should it be now from a puny media company like Google. The company has undermined and miscalculated the determination of the Chinese authority.

There is no need for many Gmail and Google’s search engine users to be whining, the inconvenience will only happen temporarily. The Chinese netizen should have the confidence that within a few years, with the massive domestic resources, home grown Chinese companies will develop search engine equally or better than Google.

According to the latest information, on Jan 14 after dinner and watching a movie “Avatar”, Google let their employees have a long Spring Festival vacation in their head office. The first day of Chinese New Year is supposed to be on February 13, and the traditional family get together dinner is on the New Year’ eve and it was reported this is a paid holiday. From the latest development, the US secretary State, Hillary Clinton, is actively lobbying to get involve in this incident. This gives the Chinese netizens an impression that the whole thing is a concerted effort between Google and the US government. However, many CEO from various US corporations who are doing business in China do not support Google’s action. Basically they expressed to abide the Chinese laws and said the cyber attacked happen around the globe even within the US. This is nothing they said, Google just has to develop a better search engine to filter the undesired web sites including child pornography in the US, for instance.

Apparently Google has chosen a passive attitude on this matter, they are going to let the uncensored version of Google.cn running since nobody is working anymore for this period of time in the head office and then watch what action the Chinese Government will take. There are several scenarios from this action,
First, Google has decided to close Google.cn and say good bye to China market.
Second, if Google stay, they will face more hurdles than ever before, the reprisal from the government will be so unbearable in doing business in China.
Third, business as usual from hereon.
For us who take interest in this case, all we can do is wait and see until the next curtain.

C. H. Ng

January 17, 2010 8:41 PM

The difference between a Westerner's & a Chinese's thinking is that the former is more "striaghtforward" whereas the latter is known to be more flexible. This includes the way they approach or handle solution to any problem. If the westerner is to come from a superpower nation, then his thinking & logic will become even more straight & inflexible in a bulldozer way, as they (the superpowers) are so used to having their ways.
NB: One clear cut example is the current situation in Haiti where the American troops have taken direct control of the main airport there & monopolize evacuation of her own citizens first. The US might has send the largest aids to the earthquake strickened country but does it meant all lives other than the Americans are worthless or secondary?

As such I quite agreed wuth the points being raised by "Cup" & "Henry L". Google has to rethink on its business strategy & be more flexible not only in China but also when investing in other foreign countries. Forget about the song "MY WAY" made famous by your fellow American, Mr Frank Sinatra...no matter how big or strong your company is, there are times & situations where you simply cannot always have YOUR WAY.

Steven

January 17, 2010 9:11 PM

China's law can only be changed by Chinese demand. Even Google has many reasons, it could speak out, but could not force Chinese gov to change Chinese law or make it an exception of Chinese law. This remind Chinese of opium war. Google's support is much less than objections from Chinese this time.

Google's such a high profile statement can only mean that Google does not understand Chinese culture and what Chinese are thinking. Its defeat is justified. Such a statement can only means it would not do any business in China.

This time, Google also reminded Chinese that information flow is strategic for a nation. It is expected that Chinese government will discourage any Chinese business and government departments put any information on Google's servers.

df

January 18, 2010 2:57 AM

I am sure the CIA are very nice people and never hack into China government websites and companies.

Google, give me a break please.

Rob

January 18, 2010 3:18 AM

OK why don't we just finally level the playing field. Google can't operate an uncensored service in China. We start restricting ("censoring")products and services offered by countries which buy their way into global markets on the backs of their enslaved populations.

gabe, san diego

January 18, 2010 3:22 AM

why u all so surprised? The Chinese have been stealing intellectual property from the West (mainly the US) for years!!!

VS

January 18, 2010 8:21 AM

Most of the comments seem to focus and think that google is pulling out of China because of censorship or because it can't compete with Baidu. The main reason for google pulling out is because of the ROBBERY of its IP. Nobody has to put up with this. If China thinks that the world will standby as it does these unethical things, it should think twice and get ready for the repercussions.

I stopped buying products "Made in China".

David

January 18, 2010 9:21 AM

Ultimately, everything boils down to ethics, and ethics stem from the values we uphold in our lives. So, regardless the race of people, companies, or countries; when people uphold values that are selfish, self-centred, not compassionate towards others, greedy and everything else that are wicked, the things they do merely reflect those values, from product development to managing people, to running businesses, to governing a country, to ignoring basic human rights, and so forth. But when the people uphold values that are not self-centred, compassionate towards others, not greedy for own self interests only, and everything else that are for the better of others, the things they do also merely reflect those values, from product development, to leadership of people, to running of businesses and organizations, and to governing a country, and always putting others first before self. There's much for many people to learn about why things are the way they are in this world. But there's hope for transformation of people from selfishness to selflessness.

Steve Real

January 18, 2010 10:49 AM

“Google engineers at Silicon Valley began to suspect
that Chinese intruders were breaking into
private Gmail accounts,
the company began a secret counteroffensive.”

It appears ” Adobe Systems, Northrop Grumman
and Juniper Networks, Microsoft,
Rolls-Royce and Royal Dutch Shell,
Rackspace Hosting Inc, Cybersitter”,
and God knows who, in a considered
deliberate attack on Western intellectual
property by the heathen Communist Chinese.

The practice of stealing is built into
the business model at Baidu.com
“the Chinese Internet company carved out
a strong presence by offering something
that Google, at first, would not:
easy links to download pirated songs, TV shows and movies.”

The Communist heathens need a class action lawsuit handed to them
for gaining acess to everyone, who has ever owned a gmail/hotmail account.
Is there a lawyer in the US worth
their salt anymore?

DanTe

January 18, 2010 11:40 AM

I agree with Chinese nationalists like Steven. Leave China laws alone. Just leave China alone. Don't bring any high tech business there. Just buy the commodities produced by sweatshop slave labors there. Chinese like being treated like slaves and dogs. Than they can whine about the "inequalities". Leave China alone. Let it rot in peace.

Steven

January 18, 2010 8:05 PM

DanTe,

US is not lack of arrogant and ignorant people like you. Why don't you ask CEOs of GM, Ford, MS, IBM, CISCO...... to achieve your goal.

China's development did not depends on US. Even before the reform, China still grew very fast. US sanctions actually helped Chinese high-tech industries. You can go to figure. China's space industry, China's supercomputers, China's telecommunication equipement industry..... All developed and got strong because of US's technology sanctions. All of internet service companies in China were setup and developed by Chiese, such as Baidu (search engine), Alibaba (B2B E- business), Taobao (C2C e-business), Tercent (Instant messanging), Shanda (Online gaming)...

huyu

January 18, 2010 8:34 PM

Somehow the comments of these gentlemen all fall into the petty he-said-she-said category, especially the Dante imposter. Here is a sweeping analysis of the big picture.

Well, we need to sustain stability and a single goal for the next 20 years in this country; that is the focus on economic development and deliverance of our people out of poverty. For that objective, I am willing to send a few hot-heads to jail, including the highly respected Mr. Liu Xiaobo, whom I do not believe is a hot-head himself but there are many around him who are 1000x, and to kick Google out, if it does not want to play by these, hopefully temporary rules. In your country, you did not give the vote to the slaves, the women, and the property less classes for almost 100-200 years variously. As a student of history, I have known many “isms”, including your cherished “liberalism”, that derailed us and had interfered with our even a small degree of stability to pursue a sustained period of development since 1840. The big picture is simply that no one could even think of whether or not to get the vote for anyone in these 150 years, as all their attention had to be on putting out the fires. I wish I had lived then and had been in a position of power to throw those hot-heads into purgatory then, including the, again, respected Dr. Sun Yat-san, or the not so admired Mr. Mao Ze-Dong, and the General Chiang. (I know I know, you are going to tell me that is just a big lie, so used to telling other people what to do, but I have 150 years of history to back me up and of course you have your splendid theory of how it is supposed to happen.) We have not had a leader, or a generation of leadership, who could have seen the potential of our nation in the last 150 years. Except our dwarf Giant Mr Deng Xiao-Ping, just like it was in 250BC Emperor Wudi, 610AD Emperor Taizhong, and 1640AD Emperor Kangxi, and countless other statemens in our 5000 year history could have seen, given 50 years of stability the greatest continuous civilization on this planet will be back to its inventive, prosperous, and righteous self. Admired universally, and emulated from the East to the West. We are the only nation in this world, throughout history, who had been invaded many times, all minorities in this piece of land had had large claims of these soil. But the invaders had to adopt our norms, our values, and our system. Today, we are a nation of many all melted from the original Han dynasty descendants and many barbarians - as I am 1/4 barbarian and maybe more. We certainly know we are not perfect, nor are you; just a clue, we had not invaded anyone, and no foreign blood on our hands. We should all be self-reflective ourselves, you and I. In the long term, we also know that “Water can float the boat, but can also subside a boat” – Confusius 500BC – where the boat is the elites and the water is the people. From the pronouncements of our current “boat” they have studied these very carefully. We, the water, have our interests perfectly aligned with them – for now.

C. H. Ng

January 18, 2010 9:52 PM

It seems like there are 2 groups of ppl here...the pro-China & anti-China even though the main topic is on the Google issue. Both groups got their points but to a certain extend. From a neutral point of view even though I am a Chinese (albeit not from the mainland)
here are my general perceptions:-

1) China with her large population & an ever growing middle income group is a potential too huge market to be ignored.

2) The way her government rules over the country by imposing a tight grip on the system & her mass is best left to the Chinese ppl to decide or judge; not you, me or any non-Chinese citizen.

3) Likewise you & me are NOT any CEO or in the top management of any large corporation or else we won't be in this blog giving our comments. Meaning the ppl sitting in the decision making dept know better than any of us whether it's advisable to invest in a country such as China...,

4) which the answer is more or less confirmed by the latest reports of FDI continuing surging over there.

5) Last but not least, I would like to say this.....China is not a "Heaven on Earth" country for living, working or investing. Neither is your country nor my country. But if you still think yours and/or your government is the best, so be it. God bless your lucky soul but please STOP condemning others. Afterall you are not going to work or migrate there, right?

NB : Btw I have travelled many times to China and I still have not come across any "enslaved ppl" as claimed by "Rob". As for "Dan Te", all of us are now living in a modern world. Those who were treated like slaves or dogs only happened during the past colonial time or during war time. Are you trying to rewrite YOUR history on which your father or ancestor had suffered under colonial rule??

Henry L.

January 19, 2010 12:26 AM

@C.H. Ng. Bravo...well said. It's just amazing how clueless some people like Den Te can be. Everyone has to realize that China is no one's friend and will work for its self interest. The country definately have many flaws but it has the confidence and the ability to solve their own problems and on their own terms. Why is it that we in the west alway think we know what's best and will impose our will by force if necessary. Bad habits I suppose. The west is too used to hear asians saying "oh, me so sorry" as portreyed in the movies we watch.

limpan

January 20, 2010 6:30 PM

the thing i just can't understand with all of this posts here (most of them at least) is that either they are completly ageinst china or very pro china. and bring up alot of stuf taht has nothing to do with the article itself. wich is that someone( either a goverment agency or a private actor) have secretly hacked alot of mail accounts and taking mail info! this is not somthing new i'm sure of not either in china or in the west. and if it is chinese gov or other private parts that are so woried about what people think of china that they need to chek their mail corspondance becouse they are critical against chinese goverment, i just think it is silly. same thing i just find it silly that people get so hoted up becouse google wish to leave china , i don't think china or chinese people care so much either so if they wish to leave then leave. Honestly i find it very anoying when people get to patriotic of their own country , to big patrioism have always throgh history lead to war. my own continent "Europe" is an very good example of this.

SonicOmen

January 20, 2010 6:56 PM

China still while a growing economy is not in the position to be making to many waves thus yet. Much of it's population is still in poverty. Not to mention it's bad human rights records, Bad health and food safety standards and increasing pollution problems. No country has ever been able to rise to prosperity entirely on their own. If this is what China is attempting then by all means good luck, you will need it! In the case of Baidu if it is so competitive then why don't you see them outside of China? It is because the Chinese Government is pulling all the strings. The internet is merely a propaganda tool for them and as a means of controlling the public as they always have. Is there money to be made in sure but risks vs reward need to be weighted very carefully.

While Internet businesses have argued that their presence in China helps promote democratic ideals, companies like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo must realize they are content providers that should take principled stands against censorship. Some of the Web companies operating in China have "very limited self-awareness that they are actually media companies as well. In regards to the technology sector as least one should be wary and weight all the risks before considering doing business in China. US should just pull out entirely and just let China run things now. It's about time someone else take the role of Devil's advocate. Now that the US is basically on it's way to becoming a third world country. China will have to picks of the reigns. Let's see how well they handle being the new King Of The Hill and all of the problems that go along with it.

Jim

January 22, 2010 1:05 AM

@VS: "I stopped buying products "Made in China", are u kidding me? can u look closely where the components of everything are made? If u don't mean it, don't say so! Can I inspect your house? Obviously u don't know what you are talking about.

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Bloomberg Businessweek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies.

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