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Google Advertising Technology

Chinese Ad Resellers On Anti-Google Hunger Strike 151

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the can't-google-a-sandwich dept.
itwbennett writes "About 200 employees from 7 Chinese ad reselling companies are protesting outside Google's offices in Shanghai in response to Google terminating their contracts, said Fan Meiyong, a representative for the group. 40 of those have gone on a hunger strike that will last until the group's grievances are resolved, Fan added. The ad resellers have said they have held talks with Google about the matter but they still don't know why the contracts were terminated. The group has even written an open letter to Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, asking them for their intervention."
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Chinese Ad Resellers On Anti-Google Hunger Strike

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  • Hunger Strike? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:42PM (#34180398)

    Man those chinese are desperate. This isn't a prison, Google isn't responsible for your personal well-being under any international treaty, convention, or agreement

    • Re:Hunger Strike? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MichaelSmith (789609) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:47PM (#34180474) Homepage Journal

      In china you can hire professional mourners for funerals, so I wonder if you can hire professional hunger strikers.

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        In China you can hire just about anything you want, as long as you grease the palms of bureaucrats first.

        • by Fuzzums (250400)

          Haha. That is so funny.

          Is that the same as when a big company "supports" politicians and the politicians in turn "support" that company?

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Miseph (979059)

            Don't be ridiculous, that's a totally legitimate business practice. You're probably just upset because you don't have enough money to put yourself on an even playing field with the big boys... maybe you should try working harder and having some personal accountability. Commie.

            • by Fuzzums (250400)

              So true. I can't wait for the day I have kids and tell them I make all the money, so I get to tell them what to do (the dished for starters). I have to start somewhere.

      • by Stregano (1285764)
        What kind of greivers? I have been to funerals where the Mom was crying, wigging out, looking up shouting at God asking him why. That might be awesome if I could hire somebody for that.
        • by NF6X (725054) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @06:20PM (#34180892) Homepage

          Cool. I'd like to hire one of them for my next design review at work.

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Even better, go clowns! Can you imagine the looks on your families face if right beside them was a group of sad clowns complete with floppy shoes and a little sad clown dog in a hat? Damn, that would almost be worth faking your own death just to see!

          As for TFA, the sad part is China probably don't even know they're about to get fucked. The Chinese poisoned their land, filled their water with toxins, but now that more are wanting an actual livable wage you'll see some place like Indonesia or some other have

          • by xaxa (988988)

            now that more are wanting an actual livable wage you'll see some place like Indonesia or some other have starved third world country suddenly become the "capitalist paradise" and China will end up with tons of empty factories just like we in the USA have.

            I've noticed lots of the cheapest products (plastic buckets, plastic cutlery, very cheap clothes, plastic £2 toys etc) are now made in Vietnam. This is the stuff that used to be made in China in the 1980s when the electronics were made in Japan.

            There's much of Africa waiting to be exploited too.

        • At my wife's uncle's funeral in Malaysia his family paid for two (2) days of professional crying. Seriously, nobody is going to sit out in the tropical sun crying if you can pay somebody else to do it for you.

      • by FatdogHaiku (978357) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @06:14PM (#34180814)

        In china you can hire professional mourners for funerals, so I wonder if you can hire professional hunger strikers.

        Sure you can, but try to avoid the ones with the "Will Hunger Strike For Food" signs...

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yes you can. But tell them you'll pay after the job. If they are good at their job, they'll die!!!!

      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by zoogies (879569)

        Really, they should just hire the Falun Gong people. Experts at protesting and garnering sympathy. This hunger strike just looks kind of stupid.

        • by macshit (157376)

          Really, they should just hire the Falun Gong people. Experts at protesting and garnering sympathy. This hunger strike just looks kind of stupid.

          Of course as soon as the Chinese government noticed that Falun Gong was involved, in even the most tangential way, they'd freak out and nuke the entire town... Hmm, I guess that'd show Google though!

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        In china you can hire professional mourners for funerals

        Similar used to apply in Ireland and Scotland. It's where the surname "Keener" comes from, from the irish/scottish gaelic "caoineadh". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keening [wikipedia.org]

      • by BranMan (29917)
        "professional hunger strikers"? Do they stand on street corners and carry signs that say "will fast for food"?
    • Re:Hunger Strike? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:48PM (#34180492)

      Man those chinese are desperate. This isn't a prison, Google isn't responsible for your personal well-being under any international treaty, convention, or agreement.

      I dunno, but it sure appears weird from thousands of miles away. I know it's an off the wall theory, but could it actually be motivated by the government as a way to marginalize the idea of a hunger strike as a meaningful protest so that actual political dissidents who go on hunger strikes might be more easily brushed off?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by StikyPad (445176)

        Hunger strikes don't need marginalizing; they're the grown-up version of holding one's breath.

        • by eleuthero (812560)
          ...and yet, Gandhi successfully pulled it off over salt (yes, yes, there were other things and other events involved).
          • One possibly significant difference: millions of people looked to Gandhi as their political leader. 20 chinese workers? They won't have the same effect.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by nashv (1479253)

            Actually, Gandhi made several hunger-strikes, but they all occurred only after he was a hugely popular leader- which meant that the possibility of his death, brought massive pressure over the ruling British Government who would have to deal with anarchic rage riots that could break out in the population.

            To protest the Salt tax, he simply marched to the sea and made his own , with about a few hundred other people.

            .

          • by oiron (697563)

            Technically, that wasn't a hunger strike; you refer to the Dandi march, which was more of civil disobediance. The point was to make salt, which was a forbidden commodity.

            The hunger strike was a different tactic, which he used more often to highlight differences between his own people (Hindu-Muslim unity and so on). And yes, that was reasonably successful too.

        • by poetmatt (793785)

          hunger strikes can work, it just helps to have a legitimate cause. In this scenario, there isn't one.

          • Only slightly on topic, but I split my side when I read this at wikipedia:

            A hunger strike cannot be effective if the fact that it is being undertaken is not publicized so as to be known by the people who are to be impressed, concerned or embarrassed by it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Locutus (9039)
        hunger strikes don't cost anything so anyone can do them.

        LoB
      • Re:Hunger Strike? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by zoogies (879569) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @06:38PM (#34181078)

        Agree - absurd theory. Just some nutty self-serving individuals. The only reason to even bring this up is an attempt to blindly play on the "big, bad, scary communist government" theme.

        The truth is, the PRC is completely clueless about PR (public relations) and will continue to be roundly slaughtered in the court of public opinion because of this.

        • by jandersen (462034)

          The truth is, the PRC is completely clueless about PR (public relations) and will continue to be roundly slaughtered in the court of public opinion because of this.

          Far from it; they are very competent, as you will understand if you look at eg the Olympics and their efforts in space. PR is not always about saying "Please love me, I am sooo nice" - when the Chinese government seem to be oblivious to how we in the West see them, it is to send a message about strength and independence.

          Look at the way they handle the criticism of their human rights record. Objectively, they are doing more or less as much as a nation can sensibly do; a responsible government will not just i

      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        Here in France we had a member of parliament hunger-striking to prevent a factory from moving from the place where he was elected (It is really a one-of-a-kind character, this level of dedication is extremely rare here). It worked... for two years. Then the factory moved. It does happen from time to time, but yeah, I find it strange to fight in order to keep a factory somewhere when it is apparently economically non viable.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Fluffeh (1273756)

      Man those chinese are desperate.

      Yes, they probably are. If you were sacked and not given a reason, you would probably be asking questions. These folks didn't start the hunger strike the moment they got shitcanned. They tried to find out what happened, how to resolve it and the like. This is the only thing they can think of doing - for better or worse.

      I don't know the background of this at all, they could have been doing shonky business practice and got caught out once too many by Google or perhaps Google thought they could make more mo

      • This is the only thing they can think of doing - for better or worse.

        Except for, you know, like taking Google to court? Yes, I'm sure the court system in China isn't as good as the court system in freer, western, nations but at least do that.

        Or, better yet, run your own ad company. When you are a useless middleman as it seems these people were, don't be surprised when companies streamline things to leave you out.

        I'm really having a hard time finding sympathy for a company who totally relied on only one company to be a middleman. Thats just a piss-poor business stra

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tftp (111690)

        If you were sacked and not given a reason, you would probably be asking questions.

        If you are a permanent employee in the USA you still can be sacked and not given a reason. If you are a contractor in the USA nobody will even think about giving you a reason. Contractors are specifically employed for temporary, special jobs that are not expected to be needed all the time. This is becoming even more popular in the USA because labor laws put more and more burden on employers for the privilege of employing pe

    • Hunger strikes have worked when the person(s) you are trying to convince are not responsible for you.

  • by microbee (682094) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:48PM (#34180478)

    and I don't think Larry and Sergey will give to damn to those Chinese resellers.

  • by countSudoku() (1047544) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:48PM (#34180486) Homepage

    Get out the Google Tanks! Oops, wrong regime. Get out the Google StreetView data collection vehicles! If they're not jumping from the building yet, then things are pretty good in Shanghai. Damn, I love me some Shanghai tiles...

    • by Fuzzums (250400)

      Protests are SO overrated. If banks fuck up your savings, it's TOTALLY acceptable to all bend over and take it like a man.

      • by lgw (121541)

        If my bank fucked up my savings, I certainly wouldn't waste my time "protesting". Protests are useless. We have a court system now, which replaces the older practice of stringing up cheating bankers from the nearest lamppost. I prefer the older practice, but one tries to keep with the times.

        • torches and pitchforks works better. you can even upgrade to a truck full of rednecks with shotguns. however, court room is not the answer to your problem, because real winner in the court rooms are them lawyers.

  • Pointless (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:48PM (#34180490)
    If Google violated a contract, take them to court. If not, then there is no room for complaint.
  • initial thought (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jnpcl (1929302) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:54PM (#34180568)
    (just a guess): the ad resellers were caught adding malware to the ads.
    • by eleuthero (812560)
      has this caused Google to stop hosting ads (all by itself) in the past [cnet.com]?
    • by shougyin (1920460)
      I'd agree, but it doesn't matter. A company has every right to replace people when it wants to. That's just the corporate world for you. It happens to people daily, but I’m sure that because Google is standing behind their decision, that people were doing something wrong.
  • I'd say I was impressed that they're going on a hunger strike, except that in doing so they place their health on the line for their employer.

    Perhaps it's the western perspective that work isn't something worth our health?

    • by eleuthero (812560)
      perhaps more so that in a communal culture, they are naturally going to put more on the line for their perceived social group. Another possibility is, of course, that their health would be more on the line if they didn't protest.
    • by tftp (111690)

      I'd say I was impressed that they're going on a hunger strike

      Would you be equally impressed if 20 young men are walking around your house and chanting "Microlith, hire us or else our death will be your fault!" (Note that you don't need anything that those guys are selling.) Will you hire them? Will you hire them if your name is not Microlith but Google?

  • I dont understand why they think a "hunger strike" is going to do any more than a regular strike. They arent just going to sit out there till they die, they will eat eventually. Just let them go hungry. Weird. 0_o
    • by Nadaka (224565)

      Or their google jobs were the only thing putting food on their table. If they are going to starve anyway, might as well get attention and possibly redress for it.

      • Think about it... they can afford to NOT WORK AT ALL, in order to protest and hunger strike. I'd say leave 'em to it. There are folks that can't afford to hunger strike, at least these strikers are leaving the jobs for those that need them.

        On second thought: Can get all the other middle-men in the world to go on hunger strike too?

        • There are folks that can't afford to hunger strike, at least these strikers are leaving the jobs for those that need them.

          WTF? Who can't afford to not buy groceries?

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @06:03PM (#34180696) Homepage

    The "search engine optimization" community is waking up to the fact that Google "reselling" is over. The October 27th merger of "Google Places" into Google web search wasn't about "places". It was about "businesses". Google is pulling third-party revenue in-house. Google is squeezing out "made for AdWords" sites, "directories", and other intermediaries that are just forwarding clicks. Search for "London hotels" or "DVD player", and notice how far down you have to go to see an organic search result. If you want to advertise a product that's found by search, you now talk to Google directly.

    This will put a big dent in the "search engine optimization" industry. We'll see many junk sites going under, too.

    Bing, having copied Google in this within days, is doing roughly the same thing.

    The guys in China are getting hit by this, but they're just collateral damage of a major policy change.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The guys in China are getting hit by this, but they're just collateral damage of a major policy change.

      Or perhaps they are just experiencing the backlash of being worthless human beings who fail to offer anything of value to society. Is there any way we can get the rest of the link-farmers, fake bloggers and forum spammers to starve themselves to death? Failing that, can we just shoot them?

      • forget the millions of websites millions of individuals, ordinary people opened up, to sell those google ads, which then turned into small businesses on their own. not to mention them starting using i.t. services like hosting and whatnot from the start, and stimulating the growth of those sectors. not to mention the web devs, sysadmins hired by bazillions of hosting or software development companies which popped up to meet the demand. or, who started working outright on their own.

        now, ALL that revenue wi
    • by nashv (1479253)

      This will put a big dent in the "search engine optimization" industry. We'll see many junk sites going under, too.

      I believe that is called "cutting the middle man", which is always a good thing.

  • ... because they would risk being imprisoned and suddenly disappear, I guess.

  • Smear Campaign? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Anyone willing to bet they're being paid by Baidu, or even better Beijing? Those on the hunger strike probably get a nice bump. Or maybe they're just using the only chance they'll get to protest in public. If this was a Chinese company they were protesting against, there would be 200 freshly dug graves.

  • "Don't eat, see if I give a shit"

    Seriously, if you have a contract dispute, take them to court.
    • by ram.loss (151102)

      "Don't eat, see if I give a shit"

      Seriously, if you have a contract dispute, take them to court.

      In China, take them to court in China. Seriously?

  • ...Work with a local partner, get them to do the hard work, then decide to keep the benefits for themselves, drop the local guy..

    Then act surprised when its not considered acceptable (or even legal) in other parts of the world.

    The American legal system is so completely skewed in favour of the big guys that even people who decry this in other areas accept it as 'just the way things are'.

    The google guys obviously totally believe their own bullshit about what good people they are, and probably don't realise ho

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Lazareth (1756336)

      They worked for google, they got money from google.
      Google got somebody else to do the work (themselves), google stopped paying a workforce no longer needed.
      Omfgod google is evul for not paying workforce to do nothing! Workforce doing nothing really hard! Google entitled to pay workforce doing nothing!

      No seriously, you're trying to make it sound like they are entitled to something beyond their contracts. While it really suck to lose your job and I can imagine it sucking even more in China, the reality of a n

      • by Lazareth (1756336)

        Addendum:
        That said it does seem like China has some gotchas regarding terminating employees. If the local law prohibits google from doing it the way they did, then of course there is a case. If not, there isn't. In the first case they should be taking it to court, not protesting, in the latter case they should be looking for new jobs instead of protesting. In both cases, they should stop protesting.

  • Newsflash (Score:4, Informative)

    by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @06:20PM (#34180890)

    Chinese labor laws are not the same as those in the US or Europe.

    http://www.chinalawblog.com/2010/01/terminating_your_china_employe.html [chinalawblog.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The article says that google didn't terminate a contract with the employees, but with the resellers that were employing them. It effectively put them out of work, but the protesters were never actually employed by google.

    • Someone really needs to mod this up, or steal his link and post it up higher for instant karma. Heck, this link should be in the freakin' summary.
      • Re:Newsflash (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Matheus (586080) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @07:34PM (#34181512) Homepage

        Sure. Great point and quite interesting. The problem is that it doesn't apply here.

        Google did not employ these people. These were companies that Google stopped doing business with. As long as Google didn't have some long term binding contract that ceasing business violates they are not 'legally' responsible for the employees that these companies can no longer afford to pay because they don't have Google's business.

        This article doesn't go into detail but I believe, even in China, it is OK to cease employment if your company goes under which is exactly what is going to happen to these companies since their business model was so flawed as to depend on a sole customer anyway. Whether the "in China" factor means that there are more severe ramifications for the terrible CEOs that run these organizations is another matter.

        • Re:Newsflash (Score:4, Informative)

          by xnpu (963139) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @12:29AM (#34183234)

          Please note though that Chinese courts have a history of showing "fairness", where the definition of fair is probably different from yours.

          E.g. if my truck driver drives off a cliff while delivering the goods you ordered to you, you usually can't sue me for the loss of the goods. Instead you're likely to be asked to share in the total costs of the truck, the goods and damages to the drivers family. The fact that you did not directly employ the driver nor owned the truck does not matter. To the court, that's just meaningless paperwork. The driver and the truck were doing a job for you.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Korveck (1145695)
      The hunger strikers are not Google employees. Labor laws would not apply to them. Their companies had contracts with Google. As far as I can tell, Google terminated the contracts lawfully. Google owes them nothing, but they are likely betting on generating some public pressure to force Google to "compensate" their "loss".
    • Re:Newsflash (Score:4, Informative)

      by vlueboy (1799360) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @07:31PM (#34181484)

      Your link discussed China's* sobering anti-layoff laws that make USA's at-will employment look like the joke it really is.

      So looking beyond "ad resellers" and Google to the whole outsourcing deal, it's hard to see how laws against US companies layoffs are a problem today. It's here in the US that they can and have been aggressively shrinking forces, and over in Asia where they are growing, so it will be several years before they even think of shrinking, if US outsourcing doubiously ever reverses its growth.

      Further, though there are tons of plants manufacturing and assembling stuff there, I thought they were Chinese-owned, so we won't be the ones doing the firing and the point is moot. For the giants who DO see a danger in Chinese land, they'll just do the sensible thing and open India centers like the rest of the world has been doing recently. I reckon India only seems to be used for coding and English-language phone support, so I've no idea about their manufacturing power.

      But that's not our problem. The outsourcing will continue wherever it is linguistically and politically easier. Under recent signs of US prosperity, forced accretion has been obversed in US branches while headcounts rise in Asian branches. More power is going to India, Australia and the Philippines because it makes perfect sense to beancounters to avoid promoting American labor again, in spite of what that means to us here.

      *Europe too, without additional detail.

      • by vlueboy (1799360)

        Heh, I'm not even a lawyer and already realized US firms on Chinese ground will copy a US trick to avoid China's ad-hoc layoff prevention:

        Stop growing and start sub-contracting new work/manufacturing to Chinese-owned firms. That eliminates the local contract bindings and allows thousands of ties to be cut by just severing one business relationship --without lowering your internal headcount.

        As a bonus, report back to president Obama that 0 jobs were added outside the US and 100% (of 3 or 4 per month, but hey

      • by lgw (121541)

        Why do you believe you have the right to be overpaid for a job? Or that it's more moral to hire an American than someone in China? Simple racism?

        Meanwhile, China has been losing jobs steadily, because they've much of it's growth has come from low-skilled manufacturing jobs, and those workers are being replaced by robots. Long term, even that's a great thing - no human should spend his days in mindless repetitive labor.

        Want a job that will stay in the US? Do something that can only be done locally, or do

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by vlueboy (1799360)

          Why do you believe you have the right to be overpaid for a job? Or that it's more moral to hire an American than someone in China? Simple racism?

          It seems that my post just flew by and got tl;dr by some, so read my post to find what I really said.

          Compare jobs with software: OpenOffice was in good hands, and the Oracle's ownership apparently killed it. Most people will take something produced by the original crew than the "new" our outsourced ones. Tech support quality loss is a prime example of that.

          With the lost jobs that up and left the coutry, people can't just "

          Do something that can only be done locally, or do something better than those who can work cheaper.

          " is not how a country gets out of 10% unemployment, especially with expert economist

          • by lgw (121541)

            Please be more sensitive.

            Have you seen an Indian shanty-town? The "poor" in America live better than most everyone who has ever lived. When a software development job moves to India, 1 American is looking for work, but 5-10 Indian jobs are created (the software developer and the service people he will in turn employ), often lifting families out of abject poverty. There's no moral injustice in a job moving to India, and only by racism could we pretend there was.

            I've worked in several professions and re-invented my job skills more

  • Were they all sleeping when Google moved over to Hong Kong for handling Chinese searches? It might be a bit of a problem for Google should they continue to sell ads in China running in this configuration and therefore they don't need those Chinese ad sales people.

    It does seem strange to go on a hunger strike because you lost your job. It does solve the problem of finding ways to feed yourself though but even then, it can only be a short term solution.

    LoB
    • by xnpu (963139)

      Google never left China. I live right next to their Beijing office and they've never stopped recruiting or growing. All they did is moved Google Search to their Hong Kong servers and moved some people back and forth between their Shanghai and Beijing offices.

      • by Locutus (9039)
        Sorry but I didn't say Google left China. I was talking about Ad Sales and moving their search domains, servers, whatever to Hong Kong. If you thought I said Google completely left China then I'm sorry for the misunderstanding.

        Or are you saying you know for sure those employees are Ad Sales related or just that Google has employees in China?

        LoB
  • I've never understood how these hunger strikes are suppose to work. I mean, these people are keeping THEMSELVES from eating, so why would I put any blame on the person/group that they are striking against? If I was a Google exec, I'd show up with a bunch of pizzas to deliver to the strikers to look like I was a caring guy ("See? I don't want these poor people to starve!").

    Or I might just eat the pizza in front of them to get them hungry enough to go eat something. Depends on how much or how little I t

    • I've never understood how these hunger strikes are suppose to work.

      Well, in this case, it gets them in the news and attempts to sway the court of public opinion.

      If you were a prisoner of an oppressive state, it is often the only form of resistance you have.

  • Would somebody please explain to me why I should care about Chinese Ad Resellers losing their jobs? With so many unemployed in the United States, isn't this a good thing?

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