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Google in China

Google in China

The case demonstrates Google’s failure to honor its “Do No Evil” philosophy. When the company expanded its operations into China, it had to adhere to government regulations on information sharing to avoid closure. The regulations required the company to censor any search results not approved by the Chinese government. The company agreed to these conditions, raising concerns among Google users and the United States Congress (Compeau & Shah, 2006). Those objecting to Google’s decision to comply with the government felt that the company was putting its interests first at the expense of its customers and condemned the company’s action. The company defended itself by insisting that the decision was difficult to make but was considered because it would create an advantage for many people. Investors were not willing to invest in the company’s stocks, resulting in its declining performance in the stock market. The United States Congress called the company’s executives and summoned them by comparing them with Nazi collaborators because they were collaborating with the Chinese government to deny people the freedom to access any information they wanted (Compeau & Shah, 2006). The company could not recover from the backlash from stakeholders, especially after it stated that filtering search results compromised its mission and that denying a specific group of people a Google search had a severe impact on its mission. Upon evaluating the turn of events after the decision to censor searches in China and the response from stakeholders, Google’s management became concerned about the increasing anti-censorship campaign that targeted the company. They used groups such as Amnesty International and Students for a Free Tibet to organize demonstrations and rallies outside Google offices and sent letters to the company’s CEO. Their main demand was the removal of the search filters. The demonstrations and rallies created a bad image of Google and made the company reconsider what it should do in the future and whether its actions aligned with its philosophy of doing no evil.

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Critical Aspects in the Case

One of the critical aspects that was identified in the case was the launch of to create a greater presence in China without considering the long-term impacts of the decision. The company assumed that offering a customized tool designed for a specific region with unique features such as character inputs in the Chinese language to simplify the user experience would make the Chinese Google users accept the search engine without asking questions about censorship. However, the search engine led to controversy because the people realized that Google had agreed with the government to censor specific search results to protect government interests. The second critical aspect was Google’s agreement with the government to deny people access to information that other Google users in other countries could access. This would place Chinese Google users in a disadvantaged position because they would not enjoy using the Google features available to other users. The critical aspect I perceive to be vital is Google’s response to the backlash from stakeholders who opposed censorship in China. The response suggested that the company had no option but to accept the Chinese government’s censorship requirements even though doing so would compromise its philosophy of doing no evil. In my opinion, the response was weak and only demonstrated the company’s aim to safeguard its interests of generating profit at the expense of the customers because it still had the option to renegotiate terms with the Chinese government or expand its operations to another country rather than China instead of partnering with the government to deny citizens the freedom to access information. The response also lacks empathy because it focuses on justifying the company’s actions while protecting government interests by mentioning how the government would benefit from censorship rather than addressing user concerns.

How I was able to make the Assessments of selecting the critical aspects

I followed various steps to make the assessments of selecting the critical aspects for the case and myself. The first step was identifying the underlying issue in the case. I identified the issue as Google’s decision to comply with the Chinese government on censoring search results for Google users in China. This created a roadmap to the information I would look for when reading through the case study. The second step was identifying the background of the issue. In this step, I looked for facts presented in the case study that explain the cause of the controversy emerging from Google’s decision to censor search results. The third step was looking for information on the outcome of the issue. In this step, I reviewed the response from Congress and Google users on the issue and the justification for their concerns. The third step was reviewing the company’s response to the issue. In assessing the response, I looked at the main areas the company concentrated on when issuing the response, the tone in the response, and any information that could be interpreted as ignorant in the response. I then applied critical thinking to determine the connection between the information drawn from the three steps to identify the critical concepts. Besides following the identified steps, I also looked at the relationship between the company’s actions and its philosophy of doing no evil. I looked for information demonstrating how the company may have acted against its philosophy and determined whether the company’s actions were aimed at protecting its interests, the Chinese government’s interests, or the interests of Google users in China. I also developed my interpretation of the philosophy of doing no evil as doing the right thing without favoring the interests of one party over the other, thus concluding that the company’s actions were against the philosophy.

Outcomes and Solutions

One of the outcomes I extrapolated from the case was a negative brand image for Google Company. The case depicted Google as a company that prioritizes profit-making over the interests of its users. This is evident in the company’s decision to comply with unfair government regulations so that it can continue working in China without competition from other search engine companies. This can significantly impact the company’s image due to the assumption that the company may collaborate with the government to pass important user information without the user’s knowledge. According to Akhtar et al. (2017), a negative image also results in reduced profitability. The second outcome is a reduction in customers using the search engine in the country. Customers may boycott using Google’s search engine in China because of the controversy suggesting that the company is working with the government to control the circulation of information among the people. Users may also assume that the search engine results are manipulated to give users information that the government wants them to have rather than giving accurate information. Customer boycotts may create huge losses for the company (Abosag & Farah, 2014). Therefore, Google needs to find solutions to the controversy. One of the solutions that the company could implement is creating an open dialogue with the government to remove censorship. The company may agree with the government to put other measures regulating the sharing of information, such as restricting the sharing of any information that puts the government’s interests at risk instead of preventing Google users from accessing the information. The second solution is collaborating with Google’s management team to develop ideas on what should be done so that the team may stop the rallies and demonstrations held outside the company’s offices. Another solution would be issuing a statement to assure users that the company is working on removing the search filters and censorship. This will help the company retain existing Google. cn users and improve the company’s image.


According to Goebel (2020), globalization has increased the complexity of global leadership by exposing global leaders to various challenges relating to compliance with the cultures and values of people in different countries. Global leaders are expected to have a high level of cultural awareness to offer effective leadership (Atiku, 2018). One of the lessons I have learned about global leadership from the case is that it is vital to understand the government regulations in a foreign country and how they may impact an organization. I have also learned that global leadership requires flexibility. For example, the culture and values in a country may require a leader to adjust their leadership approach to avoid conflict. Therefore, global leaders need to know when to change their leadership style and behavior to respond to changes in their leadership environment. I have also learned that global leadership requires making hard decisions to adjust to a new environment. For example, Google’s CEO had to make a hard decision to adapt to the changes in the company’s political environment because the government required information censoring, which the company had not considered when designing its search engines. Although the decision would place Google users in a disadvantaged position, the decision had to be made to secure the company’s operations in China. I have also learned that global leadership requires good communication skills. Bhagat (2017) argues that operating in a foreign country exposes an organization to various issues that may raise public concerns. Therefore, a global leader requires good communication skills to respond to concerns correctly without risking the organization’s success in the country.


Abosag, I., & Farah, M. (2014). Religiously motivated consumer boycott: The impact on brand

Image, product judgment and customer loyalty. The Sustainable Global Marketplace, 167-167.

Akhtar, S., Xiang, Z., & Iqbal, S. (2017). Impact of brand image on the profitability of the firm,

analysis of Nestlé Company Pakistan. Review of Public Administration and Management,


Atiku, S. (2018). Contemporary multicultural orientations and practices for global leadership.

IGI Global.

Bhagat, R. S. (2017). Developing effective global organizations. Oxford Scholarship Online.

Compeau, D., & Shah, P. (2006). Google in China.

Goebel, Z. (2020). Global leadership talk. Global Leadership Talk, 115-138.


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W2 Assignment: Complete Case II: Google in China (pg. 174-184) and address the following directives:
1. Carefully READ the entire CASE first, and review again the chapter(s) pertaining to the case(s). Take time to think critically about all of the aspects of the case(s).

Google in China

Google in China

2. Write a brief Overview/Summary of the case in your own words describing the nature and/or background information pertaining to the case. (Minimum 1/2 -1 page)
3. In your opinion, what were some Critical Aspects in the case that were identified? What were some Critical Aspects that you perceived to be very vital? (Minimum 1 page)
4. How were you able to make those Assessments of selecting the critical aspects or components for the case author/writer and for yourself? (Minimum 1 page)
5. Identify and/or list some of the Outcomes, Solutions and/or Resolutions you extrapolated from the case. (Minimum 1 page)
6. Write a Reflection on what you learned from the case pertaining to global leadership. (Minimum 1 page)

General Expectations for All Written Assignments:
Papers should follow current APA guidelines in terms of type, margins, and citations and address the following areas:
– Address the actual assignment topic. Consult the instructor for additional information or clarity on assignment instructions.
– Cover the assignment topic in sufficient detail and depth, with scholarly sources to support claims.
– The content should reflect ample use of required readings and other course materials.

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