Will Android Pay for Google's Moves in China?

9 thoughts on “Will Android Pay for Google's Moves in China?”

  1. Morality in an agnostic society is fluid. It changes according to the society’s mood. Take gay marriage for example. 50 years ago we would not even bring up the discussion in polite company, much less the Supreme Court.
    When it comes to China and good corporate citizenship, Google was one of thousands of companies that followed hundreds of others into that market over the past two decades, everyone with their eyes on making big bucks. Google’s entry into the market was not so much a lapse in corporate morality as an acceptance of societal morality. Everyone else was jumping into the pool, why not them?
    What is happening now is Google and several other influential companies are questioning whether the cost of IP theft and repressive government is worth the eventual payout. This has more to do with good business sense then morals.

  2. I agree with you. We can have high moral standards and still acknowledge the efforts of companies (and people) when they fail but try to make amends (these things aren’t inimical). Positions like Carr’s (too little too late) basically say to Google that there’s no rational incentive to correcting itself. I think that’s exactly the wrong message to send if we take ethics seriously. That doesn’t mean that we can’t also ask Google to make further changes, just that we should acknowledge the changes that the company has made. Better to nurture virtue in the hopes that it will flourish than to punish vice in the hopes that it will wither.

  3. Nicely put Om! One thing you can be sure of this is about A LOT more than the issues bandied about in the public domain. and I also think that contrary to China’s feigned unconcern, you do NOT snub a behemoth like Google and then realistically expect to lure any significant foreign innovators to your suppressed thieving communist regime! It explains the concerted effort to steal from the West! Hell, I imagine they were hacking Google because they already knew they F’ed up long before this became public debate.

  4. Google already has lost control of Android’s destiny in China. The biggest carrier, China Mobile, uses their own version of Android, called OMS. They do not have to use any Google services on their devices to use the Android stack. China Mobile and Borqs (their developer) have hundreds of developers working on Android and OMS. Now, remember that while on the surface the phone companies look independent and competitive they are in reality all run by the government. The government can have China Mobile “license” its version of Android to the other suppliers and the Chinese are on their own branch and development path, free to pull Google improvements, but not dictated to or dependent on Google. Handset suppliers will put whatever OS the carriers want on the device but more interesting is the fact that Chinese manufacturers are building a LOT of Android devices.

    In the end, China gets what ti wants: independence form US companies, a software base licensed through China and a market where the handset suppliers all are Chinese or all the devices are built in China. Pretty clever way to close the market without violating WTO rules.

  5. Hi Om this is the first time i am commenting though i have read your columns for a long time and have always enjoyed the perspective you bring to the many topics i am interested in.
    What perplexes me about Google’s decision is it’s timing not the 4 years too late argument but the why wake up to only after you have been attacked and the quality and reputation of your product compromised?Was this a case of breach of trust by a partner in a business agreement in this case between google and the chinese government.
    In any case how does a company choose between it’s own standards and following the law of the land it operates in? I guess google is definitely breaking new ground here. Will it lead to better search results i don’t know :-).

  6. This comes down to one groups willingness to commit massive acts a cyber terrorism against it’s business partners. Everything else is fluff for the witless media and masses to feel better about them selves with.

    I hope Google does decide to pull out of China, and I hope the rest of the world, including our sad little Government, opens their eyes to what is going on over there and chooses to speak with their willingness to pull all operations out of China.

    At this point China only loans the US enough money for our consumers to purchase “Made In China” garbage so China can keep those crap producing factories open. They loan us money so we can buy their crap and have that loan money flow right back into China + they collect massive interest on the loans.

    It is a moronic cycle, and it is high time we stop consuming so much pointless consumer-centric / life-irrelevant crap.

    Bring the manufacturing home!

  7. Google has decided to stop censoring in China only because the Chinese govt-sponsored hackers attacked Google’s infrastructure. If it was a purely moral stand for freedom of speech, Google should stop censoring in other countries also. Google has announced nothing of the sort for other countries where it censors.

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