High Stakes

How many decisions do you make in a normal day? How many of those impact the future of U.S China relations, foreign investment in that country and, potentially, the safety of 700 of your employees? Folks at Google faced that type of decision on March 22, when it announced that it would stop censoring search results on its site in China. Google will redirect users in mainland China to its Hong Kong based search engine. Hong Kong does not engage in censorship. What type of information would be censored on the mainland? For starters, anything having to do with the 1989 incident at Tiananmen Square. Google had attempted to negotiate a solution with China, but it could not reach agreement. The company’s concern for its 700 China based employees is evident in its announcement – it emphasizes that the decision was made solely by its U.S. based executives. Interesting times. I like to think that information almost always wins in a match up with repression. Let’s see if that’s the case here.