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Don’t Be Evil.

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Note to Google:

Abject surrender is not the way to foster cultural change for the better.

And don’t think for a moment that this will be regarded as a move of strength or integrity. The Chinese will not respect you for this. Read The Art of War. They won, and got you to give them the victory on a silver platter. You are now the Communist government’s bitch, whether you know it or not.

Way to go, guys.

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Written by [IMH]

25 January 2006 at 11:16 am

Posted in Life in China

No Responses Yet

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  1. I totally agree, but what other choice does Google have? I kind of get sick of having Google shut down on me everytime I search for something that brings up a Taiwan website in the search results.

    Matt

    25 January 2006 at 1:33 pm

  2. Google Capitulates

    Ian at Banana Oil is closer to Chinese Google than I am, but he wonders whether anybody at the hypervalued company has read Sun Tzu: Abject surrender is not the way to foster cultural change for the better. And don’t…

    Three Sources

    26 January 2006 at 7:25 am

  3. Google holds firm against the US government and doesn’t even try against the Chinese.

    Hmmm…

    WitNit

    26 January 2006 at 7:38 am

  4. There are ways of dealing with the Chinese government if you understand, even a little, how people think over here. A HK capitalist was renowned for not investing in China for many years — the 1980s when he began until almost 1997. But he kept donating to China, hospitals, parks, charitable organizations, and the government acknowledged each one.

    Then he asked to buy the most valuable piece of real estate in China, a big swatch of land in Beijing. Problem was, McDonald’s occupied, owned, and had complete rights to the most valuable corner of it.

    But, since this (admittedly Chinese) guy understood how things work here better than McD’s, the PRC government ousted McD’s and practically gave the land to the guy. (Name escapes me right now, I’ll post a reference another time.) Their debt to him was more important than any property rights.

    You don’t have to like it, but you can understand it and try to turn it to your advantage. Google’s posture is less “leaping tiger kung fu” than “frightened piglet style”, however, and they will be abused by the government, guaranteed. There will be no real respect for them, because they failed to defend themselves at all.

    Ian

    26 January 2006 at 2:31 pm

  5. Yes, from a business perspective you are 100% correct. They simply don’t understand the culture.

    Matt

    26 January 2006 at 11:50 pm

  6. Ian, it was Li Ka Shing, and I don’t think you have characterized his relations with the PRC quite right. He also facilitated the swing all the HK tycoons into he “patriotic” camp.
    Here’s an article that touches on the episode:
    http://www.asiaweek.com/asiaweek/magazine/2000/1103/cs.reform_guanxi.html

    See also an article I wrote about his son:
    http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=444

    A.West

    27 January 2006 at 1:46 am

  7. On Google, it would have been much better to have provided no results for searches than to be directing searchers to government approved links. That’s a positive effort assisting the propaganda ministry.

    The funny thing is that a lot of the US companies pandering to the PRC govt are going to find themselves F’ed in the A, in a number of years, regardless of the “guanxi” they think they’re building. Long term, the moral is the practical.

    A.West

    27 January 2006 at 1:50 am

  8. By any chance, anyone here familiar with Peter Huber’s book, “Orwell’s Revenge: A 1984 Palimsest”?

    http://tinyurl.com/8ynvs

    The computer scientist David Gelernter reviewed Huber’s book in the 6/12/95 issue of National Review; here’s a particularly thoughtful section:

    “So read Orwell’s Revenge by all means. Only do not join Huber in the sin of complacency. He is sure that freedom has had the last laugh, that 1984 is self-evidently a failed prophecy, that our task is to figure out how such a smart man could have gotten it so wrong. But the reigning tyrants of Communist China or North Korea or Cuba, of Libya or Syria or Iran or Iraq (and never count Russia out), would be delighted to use computers to brutalize their peoples and may yet figure out how to do it. Huber seems to think that over the long run, computers are intrinsically liberating. Don’t believe it. No technology is better than its masters.”

    http://tinyurl.com/d662x
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_n11_v47/ai_17015275/print

    Remember the good old days, when the techno-libertarian types, the Peter Huber types, and countless other idealists (of both Left and Right, as well as [purported] neither/middle) were so *sure* that the
    Internet and the Web (not to mention related new/improved communications tech–fax, cell phones, SMS, etc.) spelled the death-
    knell for tyrannies worldwide–*especially* Red China’s?

    It was only a matter of time before these tyrannies fell/reformed/whatever, they all said. It would be impossible to
    monitor/regulate all that stuff, they said–at least not without biting into business profits that the governments in these countries want. They were so certain of the bright future.

    The adage “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” applies to all human beings–the Bad ones as well as the Good ones. It seems that everyone has underestimated the will of the Chinese Reds; they have the will and have figured out ways. Also, in the case of Google (and others), the saying *also* applies to those who’re willing to collaborate with/adapt to Bad people too.

    Here’s an interesting post in the “Daimnation!” blog, from September of last year, that discusses a Christian Science Monitor article on these “ways”–and the possibility that these “ways” could be exported to tyrannies worldwide:

    “China’s controlled internet”
    http://www.damianpenny.com/archived/004894.html

    Jayson

    27 January 2006 at 2:16 pm

  9. Money wins!

    Viola

    28 January 2006 at 1:36 am

  10. Mr. West: Thanks for the corrections, I was clearly dredging up hazy memories on that one.

    Viola: You know it’s not that simple. If it were, the entire history of China’s interactions with the west would be totally different, starting with the fact that there would have been no Opium Wars.

    Ian

    28 January 2006 at 10:59 am


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Don’t Be Evil.

with 10 comments

Note to Google:

Abject surrender is not the way to foster cultural change for the better.

And don’t think for a moment that this will be regarded as a move of strength or integrity. The Chinese will not respect you for this. Read The Art of War. They won, and got you to give them the victory on a silver platter. You are now the Communist government’s bitch, whether you know it or not.

Way to go, guys.

Written by [IMH]

25 January 2006 at 11:16 am

Posted in Life in China

10 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I totally agree, but what other choice does Google have? I kind of get sick of having Google shut down on me everytime I search for something that brings up a Taiwan website in the search results.

    Matt

    25 January 2006 at 1:33 pm

  2. Google Capitulates

    Ian at Banana Oil is closer to Chinese Google than I am, but he wonders whether anybody at the hypervalued company has read Sun Tzu: Abject surrender is not the way to foster cultural change for the better. And don’t…

    Three Sources

    26 January 2006 at 7:25 am

  3. Google holds firm against the US government and doesn’t even try against the Chinese.

    Hmmm…

    WitNit

    26 January 2006 at 7:38 am

  4. There are ways of dealing with the Chinese government if you understand, even a little, how people think over here. A HK capitalist was renowned for not investing in China for many years — the 1980s when he began until almost 1997. But he kept donating to China, hospitals, parks, charitable organizations, and the government acknowledged each one.

    Then he asked to buy the most valuable piece of real estate in China, a big swatch of land in Beijing. Problem was, McDonald’s occupied, owned, and had complete rights to the most valuable corner of it.

    But, since this (admittedly Chinese) guy understood how things work here better than McD’s, the PRC government ousted McD’s and practically gave the land to the guy. (Name escapes me right now, I’ll post a reference another time.) Their debt to him was more important than any property rights.

    You don’t have to like it, but you can understand it and try to turn it to your advantage. Google’s posture is less “leaping tiger kung fu” than “frightened piglet style”, however, and they will be abused by the government, guaranteed. There will be no real respect for them, because they failed to defend themselves at all.

    Ian

    26 January 2006 at 2:31 pm

  5. Yes, from a business perspective you are 100% correct. They simply don’t understand the culture.

    Matt

    26 January 2006 at 11:50 pm

  6. Ian, it was Li Ka Shing, and I don’t think you have characterized his relations with the PRC quite right. He also facilitated the swing all the HK tycoons into he “patriotic” camp.
    Here’s an article that touches on the episode:
    http://www.asiaweek.com/asiaweek/magazine/2000/1103/cs.reform_guanxi.html

    See also an article I wrote about his son:
    http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=444

    A.West

    27 January 2006 at 1:46 am

  7. On Google, it would have been much better to have provided no results for searches than to be directing searchers to government approved links. That’s a positive effort assisting the propaganda ministry.

    The funny thing is that a lot of the US companies pandering to the PRC govt are going to find themselves F’ed in the A, in a number of years, regardless of the “guanxi” they think they’re building. Long term, the moral is the practical.

    A.West

    27 January 2006 at 1:50 am

  8. By any chance, anyone here familiar with Peter Huber’s book, “Orwell’s Revenge: A 1984 Palimsest”?

    http://tinyurl.com/8ynvs

    The computer scientist David Gelernter reviewed Huber’s book in the 6/12/95 issue of National Review; here’s a particularly thoughtful section:

    “So read Orwell’s Revenge by all means. Only do not join Huber in the sin of complacency. He is sure that freedom has had the last laugh, that 1984 is self-evidently a failed prophecy, that our task is to figure out how such a smart man could have gotten it so wrong. But the reigning tyrants of Communist China or North Korea or Cuba, of Libya or Syria or Iran or Iraq (and never count Russia out), would be delighted to use computers to brutalize their peoples and may yet figure out how to do it. Huber seems to think that over the long run, computers are intrinsically liberating. Don’t believe it. No technology is better than its masters.”

    http://tinyurl.com/d662x
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_n11_v47/ai_17015275/print

    Remember the good old days, when the techno-libertarian types, the Peter Huber types, and countless other idealists (of both Left and Right, as well as [purported] neither/middle) were so *sure* that the
    Internet and the Web (not to mention related new/improved communications tech–fax, cell phones, SMS, etc.) spelled the death-
    knell for tyrannies worldwide–*especially* Red China’s?

    It was only a matter of time before these tyrannies fell/reformed/whatever, they all said. It would be impossible to
    monitor/regulate all that stuff, they said–at least not without biting into business profits that the governments in these countries want. They were so certain of the bright future.

    The adage “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” applies to all human beings–the Bad ones as well as the Good ones. It seems that everyone has underestimated the will of the Chinese Reds; they have the will and have figured out ways. Also, in the case of Google (and others), the saying *also* applies to those who’re willing to collaborate with/adapt to Bad people too.

    Here’s an interesting post in the “Daimnation!” blog, from September of last year, that discusses a Christian Science Monitor article on these “ways”–and the possibility that these “ways” could be exported to tyrannies worldwide:

    “China’s controlled internet”
    http://www.damianpenny.com/archived/004894.html

    Jayson

    27 January 2006 at 2:16 pm

  9. Money wins!

    Viola

    28 January 2006 at 1:36 am

  10. Mr. West: Thanks for the corrections, I was clearly dredging up hazy memories on that one.

    Viola: You know it’s not that simple. If it were, the entire history of China’s interactions with the west would be totally different, starting with the fact that there would have been no Opium Wars.

    Ian

    28 January 2006 at 10:59 am


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