Case_BRI-1005_Google_in_China_condensed (1)

Case_BRI-1005_Google_in_China_condensed (1) - BRI-1005...

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BRI-1005 (condensed) This case was prepared by Kirsten E. Martin, Assistant Professor of Business and Economics at the Catholic University of America and Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics Fellow, to encourage classroom discussion and not to illustrate effective or ineffective business decision making. This case is a condensed version of Google, Inc. in China (BRI-1004) which includes more detail on the situation. Certain characters mentioned are fictional to facilitate classroom discussion, and any resemblance to actual persons is coincidental. Copyright © 2007 by the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics (www.corporate-ethics.org). Reproduction and use for direct educational purposes permitted. All other rights reserved . GOOGLE, INC., IN CHINA (Condensed) Key Case Facts Tom MacLean, director of International Business at Google, Inc.; managed the decision to physically enter Chinese territory through the development of Google.cn—a search engine residing in China. The search results of Google.cn were subject to Chinese filtering and monitoring, which drew ire from nongovernmental organizations, academics, press, and the general public, culminating in a U.S. congressional hearing on February 15, 2005. Company was ridiculed for “Don’t be evil” motto, and critics blamed Google for supporting a country with a totalitarian regime, known for its numerous human-rights violations. MacLean won support from the top management team by suggesting that Google, Inc., maintain both the unfiltered Chinese-language site (Google.com) with the filtered China- based site (Google.cn). The decision to develop Google.cn was complicated. In the words of Elliot Schrage, Google’s vice president of Global Communications and Public Affairs: [Google, Inc., faced a choice to] compromise our mission by failing to serve our users in China or compromise our mission by entering China and complying with Chinese laws that require us to censor search results.… Based on what we know today and what we see in China, we believe our decision to launch the Google.cn service in addition to our Google.com service is a reasonable one, better for Chinese users and better for Google.… Self-censorship, like that which we are now required to perform in China, is something that conflicts deeply with our core principles.… This was not something we did enthusiastically or something that we’re proud of at all. 1 1 Congressional testimony, The Internet in China .
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BRI-1005 (condensed) -2- Was Google endorsing censorship by conforming to the Chinese authorities’ rules? Was Google acting as a tool for the government? Were Chinese citizens better off after Google’s decision to enter China with Google.cn? MacLean was starting to question whether the decision went against Google’s stated mission of organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful. 2
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This note was uploaded on 09/28/2011 for the course MGMT 250 taught by Professor Clippinger during the Fall '10 term at South Carolina.

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Case_BRI-1005_Google_in_China_condensed (1) - BRI-1005...

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