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Google’s New Strategy in China: Principled Philosophy or Business Savvy?

Hayes, R., Trezise, G., Walther, N., and O’Rourke, J. S. (Editor)
February 12, 2018
North America
Strategy & General Management
10 pages
limited censorship, internet searches, Chinese market, corporate position, implications
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.69)
Average rating: 

On January 12, 2010, Google posted a message on its Official Blog announcing that the company would no longer cooperate with the Chinese government’s demands for limited censorship of Internet searches on its portal and that it may withdraw from the Chinese market entirely. Has Google reversed its corporate position following its controversial 2006 entry into the country? How do Google’s actions reconcile with its corporate motto – “Don’t Be Evil?” What are the implications for Google’s future profitability?

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. To highlight the conflict that arises as a business tries to balance socially responsible corporate principles with the need to maintain growth and profitability;
  2. To provide an example of a business forced to re-evaluate a controversial decision to enter a foreign market amid human rights concerns;
  3. To demonstrate ambiguities in conforming business decisions to corporate identity;
  4. To illustrate how public and media perceptions of corporate philosophy hold a corporation accountable for its actions.