Case Study: Google in China




Case Study: Google in China
MGMT3001 International Management: Individual Case Study Analysis
Brief Integrative Case 3.1: Google in China: Protecting Property and Rights
Google in ChinaIn early 2008 Guo Quan announced plans to sue Google in the United States for blocking his entire name from search results in China. But why was his name blocked from search results? Guo Quan had published an open letter in early January to his government leaders Hu Jintao and Wu Bangguo, calling “for government reform [with] multi-party democratic elections” that served the interests of the common people. In response to his letter, the government labeled Guo as a dissident and a political danger. He was ultimately arrested on charges of “subversion of state power.”Guo Quan’s name might have forever been lost in the shadow of the then-upcoming 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, but formal and informal networks of information helped publicize his case; his harsh sentence, which resulted in his imprisonment until 2018, and the fact that he named Google in his suit have made him infamous. The story of Guo Quan reflects the many challenges faced by Google over the course of the past decade as it hasattempted to expand globally. During this period, Google’s relationship with China has undergone a series of advances and setbacks, each reflecting in some way China’s response to the challenges of the Internet and social networking as well as Google’s difficulties of translating a uniquely North American business model to countries and environments with different regulatory regimes, legal environments, and fundamental values. (Excerpt).
Questions for Review1. How would you characterize China’s market for online search and related services?
2. Why was Google initially attracted to China? What changed its perspective?
3. Should companies like Google conform to the Chinese government’s expectation regarding privacy, censorship, and distribution of information?
4. What advantages does Baidu have over Google in the Chinese marketplace? How might Google overcome those advantages?
5. What recommendations would you make for Google in China going forward?
Prepared by Karl Li and Pin-Pin Liao of Villanova University under Professor Jonathan Doh as the basis for class discussion.



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