Posts Tagged ‘google’
On Tuesday, January 12th, David Drummond, Google’s SVP of Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer, released a statement on Google’s official blog announcing the company’s decision to end censorship in China, indicating doing so the company would be facing the “potentially far-reaching consequences” of losing that market.
This conduct is of great significance, particularly when the financial and business world had been tainted with greed and irresponsibility in recent years, from the wall street giants’ abusive behaviors, to the short sighted operations that nearly emptied the US job market.
There should be a limit on everything. This action shows Google has its limits of acceptance. In business practices, there is a set of international trade rules not only stresses fair trade principles but also embraces the spirit of ethics and protective measures to basic rights. Unfortunately, we have seen too often that businesses chose ignoring these moral standards as well as the fair trade principles in exchange for a looks good stats sheet. Let’s chew on the following statement from AFL-CIO: “Since 2001, the nation has lost more than 2.5 million manufacturing jobs and more than 850,000 professional service and information sector jobs. No one knows for sure how many of these jobs have been lost due to increased import competition and shifts in production abroad, since no comprehensive official data are collected. Various independent estimates indicate the number of white-collar jobs lost to shipping work overseas over the past few years is in the hundreds of thousands and millions are at risk in the next five to ten years. But the number of jobs lost need not be overwhelming in order to concern policymakers: increased overseas outsourcing also undermines wages and working conditions in those jobs left behind and threatens the long-term health of the economy.”
On the Internet censorship side, nations of the global trade community that impose such censorship not only threaten the safety of their own citizens and suppress the basic rights of freedom of speech, but are clearly in violation of the world trade agreements. In December last year, the European Center for International Political Economy (ECIPE) released its document, Protectionism Online: Internet Censorship and International Trade Law. In this 19 page report, it details the violations of WTO trade rules by the Chinese government’s censorship practice, particularly on General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) provisions.
People everywhere understand, cheer for, and support ethical business behaviors. The following pictures, taking in China, show the reaction and support for Google’s courageous move:
A group of friends put together a short note yesterday to offer our solidarity with Google:
To Google Executives,
We applaud your decision to end censorship in China.
Your decision exhibits Google’s high stands on morality, business ethics, and principles of freedom of speech.
The Internet has become the ultimate channel in the battle for the free flow of information and the fundamental human rights of freedom of speech. In the evolution of freedom of information, Google has been a champion, an invaluable resource for people all over the world. However, in recent years, particularly since 2009, China’s censorship of the Internet has intensified to an entirely new level, and business entities are being pressured to surrender to Chinese censorship demands. We understand entirely how difficult it has been for Google to operate in China, we concur completely your assessment that “The decision to review our business operations in China has been incredibly hard, and we know that it will have potentially far-reaching consequences.” That is why we are deeply touched by your decision, and want to use this opportunity to offer our profound support.
Without any doubt, your resolution sets an example for others to follow. It lays the ground work to break a business pattern that puts profitability over and above ethics and principles.
In a short period of less than 24 hours, Google has already become a hero in the eyes of many. You are not alone. The freedom loving communities around the globe are with you!