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It has been reported that Google, the primary search engine, is considering pulling out of China because of their censorship laws. Freedom of expression in China, being a communist country, does not exist. The Internet on the other hand is the bastion of free speech in modern times. The two (China and the Internet) mix like oil and water.
But Google makes money in China. Their search engine, Google.cn caters to a massive clientele in mainland China and Hong Kong. Google controls around 31% of the Chinese market and makes over $400 million in revenue from it. However, despite Google’s stellar rise to the top and their domination in China, they obviously have not forgotten”from where they have come”. As a platform for people like you and me to freely express themselves, Google has given us a voice and an audience. Google has, in essence, built its business on the principle of free speech and unlike other large companies that readily dispose of principles for short term profits, Google understands, its seems, the bigger picture. They know who their customers really are: you and I, not governments and their special interest groups.
As has been demonstrated throughout history, once a principle is sacrificed, everyone suffers eventually. If Google were to continue operating in China, a country with a dismal record of human rights violations, censorship etc, Google would, in effect, be endorsing them. Eventually, other governments would get the message and one day you and I may find ourselves mysteriously excluded from search results. Try searching “Tiananmen Square” in China and you will get the idea.
So as an immigration lawyer who has relied on Google to spread the word about all things immigration, I want to thank you for taking a stand. I am behind you.
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