Google China in Today's World, a Code Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Google China

In today's world, a code of ethics is vitally important to navigate the complex systems that make up society and business. In business particularly, a code of ethics serves as a guideline for maintaining good relationships with customers and business partners. Where the appropriate ethical viewpoint becomes murky, a clear code of ethics can assist in decision making, especially where business relationships are concerned. In the case of Google's 2010 announcement that it was likely to leave China, there were several cases of murky ethical waters to navigate. This is not only so of its direct business relationship with the host country, China, but also the one with its worldwide customers and other interested parties. While Google may have had sound ethical grounds for its announcement, the way in which it handled the aftermath of the announcement might be considered somewhat rocky where ethics are concerned.

According to Acohido (2010), Google's decision to leave China in 2010 was based upon two main factors: Cyber attacks on the Google accounts of human rights activists and China's censorship laws that created difficulties for Google users in the country. While these are sound reasons, the announcement appears somewhat sudden. After years of operating in the country, Google's sudden problem with censorship in the country seems strange. Surely the censorship laws have not changed over the years of Google's operations.

When considered in the light of ethics, one might question Google's integrity when entering the country in the first place. Why is there a concern over censorship at this point in the relationship, after years of operating under it in the country?

One answer may be that Google was seeking to strengthen its stance in terms of the cyber attacks, which, according to the company, have been on the increase. Google might have felt that its argument against the attacks was not strong enough, or that it did not have sufficient evidence to lay blame for the attacks at the door of the Chinese government. The deceptive quality of such actions ranges towards the unethical. Indeed, when this is…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Acohido, B. (2010, Jan. 13). Google stops short of fingering China for cyber attacks. USA Today. Retrieved from: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/technologylive/post/2010/01/googles-statement-stops-short-of-fingering-chinese-government-for-cyber-attacks/1#.T2MvcxHxrYQ

Efrati, A. And Chao, L. (2012, Jan. 12) Google Softens Tone on China. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203436904577155003097277514.html

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