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Google Outage Shows Risk of Doing Business In China 113

Posted by samzenpus
from the price-of-doing-business dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The WSJ reports that widespread disruptions to Google in China over the weekend, halting use of everything from Google's search engine to its Gmail email service to its Google Play mobile-applications store, underscore the uncertainty surrounding Beijing's effort to control the flow of information into the country, as well as the risks that effort poses to the government's efforts to draw global businesses. The source of the disruptions couldn't be determined, but Internet experts pointed to China's Internet censorship efforts, which have been ratcheted up ahead of the 18th Party Congress. 'There appears to be a throttling under way of Web access,' says David Wolf, citing recent articles in foreign media about corruption and wealth in China spurred by the party congress and the fall of former party star Bo Xilai, 'that's their primary concern, people getting news either through Google or through its services.' Beijing risks a backlash if it were to block Google outright on a long-term basis, says Wolf and such a move could put Beijing in violation of its free-trade commitment under the World Trade Organization and make China a less-attractive place to do business. 'If China insists in the medium and long term of creating another Great Firewall between the China cloud and the rest of the world, China will be an increasingly untenable place to do business.'"
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Google Outage Shows Risk of Doing Business In China

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  • Re:Laws of country (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 12, 2012 @12:06PM (#41956945)

    10:58AM Nice copy paste bro!

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Monday November 12, 2012 @12:12PM (#41957015)

    to do business?

    really?

    since when do we CARE ONE BIT about freedom when it comes to the almighty dollar?

    we'll be in china even if they start executing puppies and kittens in the streets.

    there is nothing in this world that will cause western capitalism to turn its back on china.

    stop acting like we have any morals here. we don't. we worship money and anything that gets in its way we will stomp on.

    other than that, we could really care less what they do. and they care less about what we do.

    as long as money flows, the guys who run things are happy to eat popcorn on the sidelines and watch the world burn.

  • by nweaver (113078) on Monday November 12, 2012 @12:17PM (#41957075) Homepage

    China lacks rule of law, it only has rule of the rulers.

    Thats the big problem with doing business in China, there is no actual Rule of law [npr.org].

  • Re:Laws of country (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gl4ss (559668) on Monday November 12, 2012 @12:18PM (#41957089) Homepage Journal

    ... the point is that China isn't adhering to the free trade treaties they've signed by blocking companies possibilities to do business on a whim.

    you see - it's NOT in the law that you can't use Google in China. it's just that they decided to block it for some time now, purely on gut feeling. no laws, no courts, just random decisions.

    that's pretty much why it's risky to do business in China and other random dictatorialships in general like Russia. You run immense risks of your business being taken away on a whim. That's also why some places have really hard time attracting investment money despite possibilities for good profits from business, as those places have a really poor track record of having consistent application of law which is pretty much a requirement if you don't want to gamble with your business.

  • Re:Laws of country (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 12, 2012 @12:19PM (#41957101)

    What was the purpose of your rant? Your first sentence is about being blocked in China and it was a general blanket statement.

    The following 5 paragraphs have absolutely NOTHING to do with being blocked. Only a tangent about Google not being popular in other random countries. Are you actually trying to relate Google being blocked with their lack of popularity or was this just a springboard to bitch about unrelated things?

    New account, two posts. Very little on topic content
    What we have here is a shill. Moderators were fooled.

  • Re:Laws of country (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Monday November 12, 2012 @12:31PM (#41957249)
    I know it's cliche to call 'shrill' around here, but... it is no secret that the Chinese government employs an army of propagandists, mostly part-timers, with the job of patroling the internet looking for Chinese blogs and discussion forums and defending the government from criticism. I am not aware if they extend the program to English-language sites, but if they do, the above post is exactly what I would expect them to post. Some of those lines, like 'This includes abiding Chinese laws if you want to do business there,' are straight out of the government policy and perfectly echo previous statements by officials on such matters.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday November 12, 2012 @12:39PM (#41957325) Homepage

    I suppose this is just another thing that needs to be repeated until it is generally accepted. You know, kind of like "smoking is bad for you and everyone around you."

    There are ample examples of how doing business in China have turned really bad on all scales. It is especially obvious when heavy tech such as aircraft and train manufacturing have been screwed over by the promises of the Chinese government which were later revoked causing amazing damage to the companies who put their faith in what they were told.

    We all want to have those WalMart prices in everything we buy. Lower costs of everything from materials and manufacturing to labor and delivery are things we ALL want. But there are risks and I measure those risks with every transaction I make on eBay. (And I am talking about pennies, not billions of dollars.) The risk is heavy on my mind always. But then again, it's the question of risk isn't it?

    These days, whether people realize it or not, but the risk to business has largely been shifted to employees and the general population. When things fail or go badly, who feels the pinch worse? The people on wall street or the people on the street? Somehow, we got to a place where risk is socialized and rewards are privatized.

    So yeah.... there is risk to doing business with china, but the risk is socialized... it's on all of us and we have little we can say or do about it.

  • by Fastolfe (1470) on Monday November 12, 2012 @12:47PM (#41957451)

    UK has no written constitution [independent.co.uk] and its doing well.

    Just because the UK lacks a single constitutional document does not mean the UK lacks the rule of law: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_United_Kingdom#Parliamentary_supremacy_and_the_rule_of_law [wikipedia.org]

    Should China have the "rule of law", just because some western countries have it?

    No. China should have the rule of law because the rule of law brings stability and predictability to the way people are governed. In the absence of the rule of law, you have governments and police that are arbitrary and unpredictable, acting based on the whims of the rulers rather than on the deliberated and well-documented intent of a legislature. Without the rule of law corruption and greed are allowed to exist without challenge by the people.

    Some governments in the west have ignored their own rules too. Just saying.

    Tu quoque, another logical fallacy.

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