Google's Problems in China (B)

Google's Problems in China (B)
Case Code: BSTR374
Case Length: 17 Pages
Period: 2000-2010
Pub Date: 2010
Teaching Note: Not Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: Google Inc.
Industry: Internet Search
Countries: China, US
Themes: International Business
Google's Problems in China (B)
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


Google, the leading Internet search engine based in the US, started providing its services in China in the year 2000. Though the company became one of the leading search engines in the Chinese market, it started losing its market share rapidly to the local players like Baidu. In order to remain competitive, Google decided to launch a Chinese website and agreed to censor the content, in January 2006. Though Google was criticized by the industry experts for its decision to censor the content, the company defended its stance by claiming that providing censored results was better than not providing any details at all.

However, soon Google started facing problems, and its website was blocked several times for its quality of censorship, spreading obscene content etc.

The company remained second to Baidu in the local search engine market. Google's other services like YouTube, Blogger, and Picasa were also blocked. By the end of 2009, Google realized that its website was being attacked and the attacks originated in China. Google also found that Gmail accounts of some of the advocates of human rights in China were broken into. In January 2010, Google reported that its corporate infrastructure had been subjected to a targeted attack from China and announced that it would not censor its results any more and was ready to shut down its Chinese operations, if required. The case discusses in detail, Google's operations in China and the events leading to its decision to stop censoring the search results. It also examines the impact of this decision on Google's operations in China.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives

  • Understand the business and regulatory problems faced by multinational companies in China
  • Examine the reasons for media censorship in China and the methods used by the Chinese government to filter searches
  • Evaluate the growth opportunities of the Internet businesses in China
  • Analyze Google's operations in China and the reasons that led to the loss in its market share



Google Inc., Internet Freedom, Goojje, Cyber Attacks, Phishing, YouTube, Privacy Rights, Filtering Software, Global Search Engine Market, Filtering Search Results, Tiananmen Square, Digital Marketing, Global Communications, Chinese Regulations, Tracking GhostNet

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