Google and the Red Dragon
After travelling through China with a local guide who was quite independent and critically minded, reports on the country from reputed American sources like the New York Times began to frustrate me. In one way or another, most articles would accuse Chinese authorities of using propaganda to (mis)inform their citizens about political issues. Now, since Google disclosed that the gmail accounts of several human rights activists were targeted by hackers from within China, the Red Dragon is back, but how dangerous is it really?
“The mountains are high and the Emperor is far away,” the Chinese proverb goes. While, for example, China’s one-child policy is an easy target for those aiming to criticize authoritarian Chinese rule, it is not uncommon for Chinese families to have more than one child. After all, it takes more than one offspring to continue the family farm or business. Besides, the population in China is growing, not decreasing by half every new generation!
Very ironically, reports from American news companies that criticize Chinese misinformation seem colored by the lens of U.S. foreign policy, a policy which seeks to isolate the world’s rising power.
So, while Google began censoring itself in China in 2006, i.e. preventing information about human rights violations from reaching the public, its conscience is no longer so clean? I’m glad for that, but Google’s stand is not for Chinese human rights; it is against its business getting hacked. That’s fair, but let’s realize that Google’s loosening of censorship is retaliation against hacking, not a newfound spirit of goodwill.
As China’s consumer spending is a small portion of its GDP relative to U.S. levels, China represents a huge source of advertising revenue. That’s big bux for Google. Still, Google is hardly the juggernaut in China that it is in the U.S.
Google has 33 percent of the market share behind Baidu’s leading 67 percent. Baidu is the most popular search engine on the Chinese internet: 77 percent of internet users use it to search while only 13 percent use Google.
Google isn’t going to lose its shirt if it loses China, but if can make inroads on the Chinese government then it will demonstrate that it is equally as powerful as American foreign policy (perhaps even more powerful in the wake of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference where Obama was snubbed by President Hu Jintao and forced to negotiate with a lesser government official).
The logic will go like this: what’s good for Google is good for the U.S., and vice-versa.
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
- Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
The best-selling author tells us his methods.
- James Patterson has sold 300 million copies of his 130 books, making him one of the most successful authors alive today.
- He talks about how some writers can overdo it by adding too much research, or worse, straying from their outline for too long.
- James' latest book, The President is Missing, co-written with former President Bill Clinton, is out now.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.
- The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
- The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
- Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.