oogle is accusing the Chinese government of blocking its popular Gmail service, and trying to make it look like the glitch is Google's fault. China denies it's doing anything to disrupt Gmail users' messages. The dispute comes as Chinese authorities are trying to quell the "jasmine revolution," an online dissident movement inspired by the recent Arab revolts. Should Google be doing more to protect its users in China?
Google is powerless against China: Google has tried, and failed, in the past to thwart Chinese censorship, says Zacks Investment Research. It stopped "self-censoring its google.cn website," and redirected customers to Hong Kong, which has "a more conducive operating climate." But China has just used "sneaky" methods to slow down Google's site and discourage people from using it, cutting Google's share of the Chinese search market from 35 percent to 19 percent. You can't "operate in a country if you do not play ball with its government."
"Gmail under China attack: What next?"
Right, so Google should leave China then: Google has done nothing to fight back against the Gmail assault, "short of declaring who the real culprit is," says James Cohen at Technorati. Maybe the company just realizes it can either do business in China, or honor its corporate motto, "Don't be evil," but not both. If that's the case, it's time to get out of China, or change the motto to "Don't be evil, unless we'll lose 338 million potential customers."
"Google's Gmail — under attack in China (again)"
This could backfire on China: Given the decisive role the internet has played in toppling "long-standing dictatorships" all over the world this year, says Greg Tito at The Escapist, "it certainly makes sense for China to be wary of Google." But this "latest heavy-handedness" to foil dissidents and "smite Gmail" might be the Chinese government's undoing. "I might take a little censorship here and there, but if you mess with my Gmail, I'm gonna throw a brick through a window."
"Google calls out China for screwing up Gmail"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is American internet so slow?
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
- Sorry Belle Knox, porn still oppresses women
Subscribe to the Week