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Google Inc. vs. Chinese Censorship Rules

The Google Company found itself in a tight corner explaining its decision for entering the Chinese market. This was a highly restrictive market as the government monitored and limited the kind of information internet users could access. The company operated on core values of satisfying the user interests and expanding access of information to anyone. The management realized that in operating in China without self-censorship their site was very slow and down most of the time due to the government’s efforts in censoring the site results. They were therefore not fulfilling their role of satisfying the user or providing access to information. They therefore added another core value which is response to local conditions. They chose to comply with the Chinese regulations. Though the individual would be restricted on the information they could access they were able to access the site at all times and it was very fast.

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The Chinese laws are restrictive to the internet users. The Chinese government prohibits the production and distribution of improper content. First of all the Government monitors the content of information accessed by internet users. Out of fear, the people are afraid to check any kind of information that may be censored or sensitive. When internet users access the internet there are two policemen cartoon characters, Jingjing and Chacha, informing them that whatever they access and browse is being monitored and that internet users have to comply with the law. The government employed over 30,000 internet police who were deployed to government buildings and cybercafés (MacLeod, 2006). The cyber cafes were expected to use Internet Detective software to aid them monitor what their customers were browsing. The governments even gave service awards of self-discipline to the best service providers.

The government also has the right to demand for private user information from the search engine companies. The Yahoo Company gave information on three individuals, Shi Zao, Li Zhi and Jiang Lijun who were arrested and imprisoned for ten-year, eight-year and four-year sentences respectively for accessing illegal content. The Microsoft Company had to shut down the blog site of the famous Chinese political blogger Michael Anti after being informed by the government. Due to these restrictions the Google Company decided that the would not offer e-mail and blog services so that it would not be forced to reveal user information. The company however informs the internet users that their search results are being filtered to comply with the government regulations.

The second repressive Chinese rule is the censorship of sites and the government’s laws on internet service providers to self censor their sites (Hachigan, 2002). If a Chinese individual browses the internet he will not view all the search results sites if there are any sites that contain censored information. There is restricted flow on information on topics such as Tibet, democracy, The Falun Gong spiritual movement, anti-government protests such as the Tiananmen Square protest and freedom. The same content information available to an individual in the United States is not available to internet users within China. The Chinese government was able to monitor and filter information by putting routers at the edge of the country’s domestic internet. It was able to filter information by use of URL’s, e-mail content and key word searches. This came to be known as “The Great Firewall of China”. Once an individual tried to access a restricted web page they would receive network error messages, time outs and “requested page does not exist” messages. Internet service providers like Yahoo, Microsoft and Google have to monitor and censor the search information that is available to internet users.

The government set up online reporting mechanisms for people to report any institutions that were displaying harmful content such as the religious cults and the Tiananmen Square Crackdown.


Hachigan, N. (2002). The Internet and Power in One-Party East Asian States. Washington Quarterly. Web. 

MacLeod, C. (2006) Web Users Walk Great Firewall of China; Internet Controls: Restricting Use or Protecting People? USA Today. Web.

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