Thursday, January 14, 2010

US Lawmakers Urging Other US IT Companies to Follow Google

It sure would be nice to have a mass exodus of businesses exiting China. It would be a good sign for Taiwanese businesses to see that after years of fighting with the regulations of the Chinese government, many US IT Tech companies are exiting due to their inability to operate freely and also competitively, in an environment where the Chinese government has stakes in many of their companies.

Specifically, Republican lawmakers have called on CSCO, MSFT, and YHOO to review their operations in China and perhaps take similar steps that Google has taken.

Over the years, there have been cases after cases of how intellectual property was stolen in China, remember the Plurk incident? Only companies that truly are "evil," would continue to operate in China, knowingly supporting a Communist regime and their propaganda (via obeying China's rules on filtering, etc.). The bottom line for those companies that remain in China is, well, the bottom line- $$$.

While it has been known that Google certainly hasn't been doing that well in search engine market share in China (lagging behind Baidu), had they stayed, their presence would likely grow over time.

Microsoft has already responded, with CEO Ballmer stating he is maintaining their China operations, [filtering everything the Chinese government wishes.] Perhaps this is just another step in the demise of Microsoft, and a continuation of the ingenuity and leadership of Google in the IT industry.

Another good editorial on this here, at All Things Digital, a short excerpt:

What he said then must have finally sunk in: “Your abhorrent activities in China are a disgrace. I simply don’t understand how your corporate leadership sleeps at night.”

How far Google execs are willing to take this fight with China will determine how well they sleep in the future. But good for them for beginning this move, which is critical to the Web evolving globally as a free, unfettered and transparent force.

Most of all, we should only hope that Google’s actions spur other tech companies to try to change China the only way its government understands: By saying enough is enough regarding how China behaves in the digital community, and finding a “spine,” as Lantos called for, to actually do something that will make a difference.

Because, let’s be honest, enough was enough a very long time ago.

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