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 has taken a bold and difficult step for Internet freedom in support of fundamental human rights. No company should be forced to operate under government threat to its core values or to the rights and safety of its users."

- Leslie Harris, President of the Center for Democracy & Technology, in January 2010.

"We love what the Chinese are doing as a country, in terms of growth, improving the state of lives of people, and using information. We just don't like the censorship, and we said that very publicly. What we hope is that that will change. And we hope that we can apply some form of negotiation or pressure to make things better for the Chinese people."

- Eric Schmidt, Chairman & CEO, Google Inc., in January 2010.

Google to Exit China

On January 12, 2010, David Drummond (Drummond), Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer of the US-based Google Inc. (Google), said in a post on the company's official blog, "Like many other well-known organizations, we face cyber attacks of varying degrees on a regular basis. In mid-December 2009, we detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google.

However, it soon became clear that what at first appeared to be solely a security incident - albeit a significant one - was something quite different." On the same day, Google announced its investigations into the attacks which showed that at least twenty more large companies in different fields like finance, technology, media, chemicals, etc. had come under similar attacks. According to Google, the main aim of attacking its website was to access Gmail accounts of some advocates of human rights in China located in Europe, the US, and China. Several Gmail accounts were accessed by third parties originating from China through phishing and malware.

The company also mentioned that the attackers had failed to achieve their objectives. It said that the attackers were able to see only the subject lines and dates of e-mails but not the content.....

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