How Google Succeeded In China Research Paper

Length: 6 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Sports - College Type: Research Paper Paper: #87840822 Related Topics: Censorship, Intercultural Communications, Intercultural Communication, Google
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Business Management

PERSPECTIVE FROM AN INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATIONS Business

GOOGLE IN CHINA

In the early 21st century, a highly successful corporation called Google, Inc. decided to expand its business into China. The company first tried to circumvent China's heavy censorship, laws and regulations but China's ability to control the internet flow into and out of China all but defeated Google's attempts. After being thwarted by China, Google adjusted, began to comply with China and is now a successful business in China. However, Google's success in China may have cost the company its claim to the motto "Don't be evil."

Google Background

Google was founded in 1998 by two Stanford University students. Larry Page and Sergey Brin met the University in 1995, built a search engine by 1996 that discerned the importance of different webpages and incorporated in 1998 as Google, Inc. with the mantra of "Don't be evil" (Google, Inc.). Though Google is headquartered in Mountain View, California, its popularity quickly rose and by 2016, Google had more than 70 offices in more than 40 countries (Google, Inc.). With a mission of organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful, Google focuses on building and maintaining an effective presence around the globe (Google, Inc.). China has a population of 1.3 billion people and approximately 110 million internet users (Google, Inc.), which made that nation an irresistible target for Google, Inc.'s expansion. With considerable difficulty and intense criticism for violating human rights, Google succeeded.

b. Cultural Differences/Barriers

i. Fundamental Universal Rights

Any company attempting to do business in another country is faced with a number of challenges. One way in which Google adjusted well -- maybe too well -- was with China's censorship. In order to ethically do business internationally, experts such as Thomas Donaldson suggest basic guidelines for universal human rights that should be honored by intercultural communications corporations. Those rights include: physical freedom; property ownership; freedom from torture; fair trials; nondiscrimination; physical safety, free speech; free association; basic education, free participation in politics; and survival (Boatright 336-7). While an American might respond, "Well, of course, people should have those rights," life is reportedly different in China.

The big difference in the case of Google is China's extensive censorship. When Google first decided to provide a special Google home page for China in 2002, its servers were not on Chinese soil; consequently, Google was not bound by Chinese laws and censorship. However, the internet into and out of China was controlled by nine fiber optic cables belonging to internet service providers who had to be licensed by China. China did not control Google servers but China did control the flow of information into and out of China. As a result, Chinese users of Google's search page were funneled away from content that the Chinese government wanted to censor; when users clicked on the links that came up through a Google search, either the links just didn't work or they took the users to pages sanctioned by the Chinese government. China's heavy censorship of information to and from its citizens became known as the "Great Firewall of China" (Chandler). Worse yet, on September 3, 2002, Google was completely blocked from China. Two weeks later, Google was back on Chinese computer monitors but the censorship was tougher (Thompson).

In the face of that heavy censorship and the loss of its competitive edge with Yahoo! And Microsoft in China, Google rethought its tactics with China (Boatright 358). Starting in 2004, Google consulted with Chinese Internet users and experts, human rights entities, local government officials and some of the country's business leaders to determine whether it should take a different path in dealing with China (Kahn). As one of its corporate leaders later testified to Congress,

We reached the
Despite Google's attempts to balance its mission and its users' interests by cooperating with the Chinese government, Google has been severely criticized for contributing to human rights violations in China by its cooperative self-censorship. In a February 2006 Congressional hearing, Google was essentially called hypocritical for having the motto "Don't be evil" while helping evil through its cooperation with Chinese censorship (Google, Inc.). Nevertheless, Google maintains that it is doing its best to balance all interests and bring as much free information as possible to everyone in China and around the world.

ii. Sweet Sweat Shops, Acceptable Bribery and Local Culture/Law/Taxes

One problem facing an intercultural communications business is that a practice considered unacceptable or even illegal in its home country might be perfectly legal in another country. "Sweat shops," which are normally considered terribly exploitive of poor workers in other countries, could actually better the local economy and lives of people in other countries because sweat shops give them work and income (Boatright 333). Multinational corporations must address the possibilities of
absolutism, where they follow the same standards no matter where they do business, or relativism, where they adjust to the local laws and customs, even if those are unacceptable or even illegal in the home country, or even a hybrid approach in which the company is absolute about some values but relative about other values (Boatright 333). The international corporation must consider a number of factors when deciding how to act: important differences between developed and less developed countries; different cultural ideas of proper ethics, which might be very different from the company's home country; the basic rights of the people in the host country; and the day-to-day mechanics of doing business in the host country (Boatright 333-336). Google used experts from America and China to determine all those factors and draw up a successful plan for Google's entrance into China (Google, Inc.).

One big problem in day-to-day mechanics is the different attitudes about bribery. In America, we believe that offering a bribe and taking that bribe are both unethical and illegal. However, in some other countries, such as China, local officials expect bribes in order to give licenses and otherwise let companies work in their areas. Because of our own ethical principles about bribery, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) were passed by Congress to stop U.S. corporations from bribing officials in other countries. However, this put our own companies at a competitive disadvantage because corporations from some other countries were free to bribe local officials. Some corporations get around those difficulties by using agents in those countries and whatever the agents do, including bribery, is officially their own concern (Boatright 338). Also, the U.S. and 33 other countries signed an agreement in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to stop bribery from all companies headquartered in those member countries (Boatright 337-40). While Google would never admit to paying bribes to local authorities and business people in order to do business, if bribes are required for smooth business, they must somehow be paid, probably through agents so Google does not officially know about the bribes.

The local culture, laws and tax burdens can also be problems for a company trying to work in another country. Language, customs, laws and business practices can differ from country to country and can make the difference between a successful business and a failure. Consequently, companies must somehow bridge those gaps in order to do business in those countries. Google used local agents, for example, to understand the Chinese language, laws, tax burdens, culture and business practices, and to comply with all of them in order to work well in China and receive the necessary approval of authorities (Google, Inc.). In sum, Google has succeeded in China, at great cost to itself and to its reputation.

C. Conclusion

By most standards, Google, Inc. is an enormous business success. Started by two college students, the company incorporated in 1998 and eventually spread to…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Boatright, John R. Ethics and the Conduct of Business, 7th Edition. Pearson Education, Inc.: Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2012.

Chandler, Clay. Inside the great firewall of China. 20 February 2006. Web. 8 May 2016.

Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Letter from the founders: "An Owner's Manual" for Google's Shareholders. 29 April 2004. Web. 8 May 2016.

Google, Inc. Company overview. 2016. Web. 8 May 2016.


Cite this Document:

"How Google Succeeded In China" (2016, May 09) Retrieved June 12, 2021, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/how-google-succeeded-in-china-2156706

"How Google Succeeded In China" 09 May 2016. Web.12 June. 2021. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/how-google-succeeded-in-china-2156706>

"How Google Succeeded In China", 09 May 2016, Accessed.12 June. 2021,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/how-google-succeeded-in-china-2156706

Related Documents
Google and China Google Is
Words: 1418 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Education - Computers Paper #: 21349835

Control over information access in a society is like control anything else, whether it is opium or food safety. Google's use of directing Google.cn users through to Google.co.hk is "fundamentally politically subversive," as Mr. David M. Lampton says. It an abuse of the principle that underlies Hong Kong's governance of "one country, two systems," (New York Times) and was an aggressive attack on Chinese sovereignty. The counter-argument is that China

China Management As China's Economy
Words: 2298 Length: 7 Pages Topic: Business Paper #: 40260024

State Domination and Financial Markets The Chinese government has characterized its involvement in economic development as "serving rather than supervising the private economy" since 2008 (Xinhua, 2009). With this shift in focus a number of changes to Chinese management can be expected. The paternalistic approach will remain, as it is part of Chinese culture, but there will be further Western influences, particularly with respect to the desire outcomes of management behavior. In

Google Acquisition of Youtube
Words: 5092 Length: 17 Pages Topic: Business Paper #: 84267515

Google acquisition of YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. The deal will be analyzed in both the financial and strategic contexts. With respect to the former, the net present value of YouTube's future cash flows will form the basis of the evaluation. With the latter, there are a number of considerations including the market position of each of the companies at the time of the merger and during the

Google Stakeholder Analysis
Words: 1855 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Business - Companies Paper #: 66145097

Introduction The global entity being studied is Google. This is a company that operates around the world, with a number of different products and business lines. It is also one of the richest companies in the world, with massive revenue and profits. This essay will perform a stakeholder analysis of Google. Stakeholder #1 – Employees The company's employees are a major stakeholder. They depend on Google for their livelihoods. This has a few

Google Introduction and Description of the Company
Words: 6398 Length: 22 Pages Topic: Business Paper #: 65461622

Google Introduction and Description of the Company Organizational Structure Industry Analysis Value Proposition Financial Performance Figure 1.1 Revenue and Net Income Growth TOWS Strategies BCG Matrix Leadership Alliances Measures Google is a highly successful Internet company that makes most of its money through online advertising. It has been able to achieve this success through a combination of leadership and culture. The company's many strengths are in general aligned with the opportunities that exist in the marketplace. As a result, Google has the

Google: Leadership Vs. Management in
Words: 2371 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Leadership Paper #: 66545422

Navigating between these extremes will require the company to consider the following two recommendations. First, as the company is known for having a highly analytical culture where development is quantified at each stage and even the projects generated during the 20% time of employees is measured, Google needs to take the enterprise-level (or large corporation) needs list and prioritize it, and then put incentives on the top fifty of these