Anti-social Behavior

google

Shortly after Google’s social networking platform, Google+, was launched on June 28, reports sprung up of it being blocked by the Chinese government. On June 30, The Guardian used two sites (Great Firewall of China and Just Ping) to ping plus.google.com from a Chinese server and, after failing to reach the site, concluded that the government […]

Google and China

google

Previously on “Google and China.” When we left off, Google had accused the Chinese government of tampering with Gmail and causing connectivity issues. The Chinese government had responded by investigating the company for tax fraud. Though there’s been no follow-up report about the investgation, Gmail is still experiencing problems in the mainland.

This week’s episode: Hacking, again. Not the hacking of human rights advocates which precipitated Google pulling out of the mainland, that was last year.

This time, Google says the hackers targeted senior U.S. government officials, and Chinese activists and journalists.

Upping The Ante

Google

I wrote yesterday about Google’s ongoing struggle with the Chinese government. Just last night, Chinese media reported that Google and three companies affiliated with it are now under investigation for Chinese tax fraud:

Three companies affiliated with the search engine Google have been investigated for tax fraud in China, Thursday’s Economic Daily reported, citing sources with China’s tax authority.

The companies have been found using fake invoices, and accounting and business tax irregularities were also discovered that involved more than 40 million yuan (6.06 million U.S. dollars), the newspaper said.

Google is also under investigation for tax evasion, the newspaper said.

Snail E-mail

Gmail

If you’re wondering why Gmail is running slowly and why Gchat keeps dropping, you’re not alone: Google is wondering the same thing.

Relations between the Internet giant and the Chinese government have never been great. What with Google’s withdraw from the mainland after refusing to self-censor search results and reporting that high-level cyber attacks aimed at e-mail accounts of political activists originated from China. But earlier this week Google outright accused the Chinese government of tampering with its e-mail system.

There’s No Business Like…

Google’s ultimatum that they’ll leave China rather than continue to censor their search engine is an interesting case, and one in which I feel we haven’t been told the full story.

Let’s be honest, not many corporations have qualms about doing business in China from a moral standpoint. The global recession has seen to that. Why Google would throw down the gauntlet in this way baffles my business sense—though there was a brou-ha-ha when they set up within the Great Firewall, it soon died down and people went back to pirating images and searching for porn with as much ease as before. We love Google—it makes our work so much easier, why not just turn a blind eye to their toadying to the Chinese government? Yahoo reported human rights activists to the Chinese government, Microsoft happily censored MSN.com, and MySpace ditched politics and religion discussion groups when they set up in China. Ethics are ethics, but a Chinese cash cow is a Chinese cash cow.