Censorship in China

Google’s censored search engine plan for China seems to place profits above all else

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 August, 2018, 12:03am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 August, 2018, 12:03am

I refer to reports about the attempt by Alphabet, the corporate parent of Google, to have the search engine return to China (“Google reported to launch censored search engine in China, marking shift in strategy”, August 1).

Eight years after quitting China over censorship concerns, Google is now trying to rebuild an internet search presence in the country, as the opportunities in the world’s largest internet market are apparently too good for Alphabet to resist . There are more than 800 million internet users in China. If Google returns to China, it can boost its profits.

The People’s Daily, the official Communist Party newspaper,  welcomed Google to rebuild its internet search presence in the country, the precondition being that it comply with Chinese laws.

Watch: Google plans to return to the Chinese market

However, I cannot support this move by Google. The world today prioritises material gain, with reaping profits seen as being of paramount importance. But revenues should not be more important than doing what is right. I see that 1,400 Google employees signed a protest letter against the planned censored search engine for the Chinese market, demanding greater transparency and flagging “moral and ethical issues”.

William Lo, Sai Kung