GOOGLE’S CHINESE COMPROMISE: A CAPITALIST CAPITULATION?
For global businesses, the Chinese market is tempting due to the sheer size of the population. According to World Bank data (2018), China has a population of 1.4 billion citizens. However, the Chinese market is notoriously difficult to crack (Stalk & Michael, 2011; Stevenson, 2017; Yongfu, 2014). According to Horowitz (2018), “doing business in China comes with a long list of demands”. Alphabet, the parent group of Google, was listed as having the third largest market value in the world (Statista, 2018), but it has still had its share of ups and downs in the Chinese marketplace. China’s harsh line on censorship has made it impossible for a company whose main raison d’etre is the availability of information on the internet. Having withdrawn from the market in 2010 due to China’s political overreach, what message is Google sending to the world by re-engaging with the nation? Is the quest for global dominance – and the accompanying advertising dollars – enough for Google to capitulate to China and grant them their censorious wishes?