Saturday, January 16, 2010

Google may be the one company ...

Google's move is brilliant simply because it might be the only one that can pull it off.

Where Chinese people do not simply have a nationalist, defensive backlash (e.g. Carrefour), but pause to consider and ask themselves, "What is happening? Why is this happening? Why would Google take such an action."

They love Google. I think they might possibly love Google -- or at least admire it, for its innovation, business acumen, but also general sense of public decency, more than they love the government.

Google is, for once, an unquestionable good. It's not a country, a sovereign government, a greedy, rapacious, imperialistic foreign corporation bent on exploiting the China market for profit. It's a group of engineers, creative, inspired and innovative, who just want to do good for the world by expanding the availability of information.

And I think that vision of Google inspires a lot of people, including students and Netizens in China.

I know a lot of this is the Silicon Valley part of me speaking. But I am animated by the culture of this place where I grew up, and even though I sometimes still wonder about the impact and ability of technology to be relevant in people's lives, I still believe in its ability to bring improvement.

More analysis from CNET to come ...

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