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Summary:

Andy Kessler writes in today’s The Wall Street Journal that like all cool rockstars, selling out has basically cost Google its core audience but that might not be all. Google could have kept their cool and trusted image if they’d just worked with someone else in […]

Andy Kessler writes in today’s The Wall Street Journal that like all cool rockstars, selling out has basically cost Google its core audience but that might not be all.

Google could have kept their cool and trusted image if they’d just worked with someone else in China, someone they could smash. Perhaps Eggroll.com – powered by Google. Someone else to blame for those unsearchable keywords. Users in the West may not desert them, but a billion soon-to-be-online Chinese will forever associate Google with lame and censored search results – tools of the state. That just dumb. And totally uncool.

  1. Well, that is why Maxthon is working with Baidu in China…

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  2. funny thing is, I know the guy that owns eggroll.com, wonder how much traffic he’s seeing today :)

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  3. not sure, but egg roll does sound like a good name to me!

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  4. FreeSpeech issue in China is beyond Microsoft or Google. But I should commend this bold measure by the Chinese authorities since they don’t want any hurdles in their growing economy. Once they are a developed nation, they will liberalize the media.

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  5. Jesse Kopelman Tuesday, January 31, 2006

    Saying a human rights issue is beyond a company is a slippery slope. Companies that cooperated with the Axis during WWII have all long since admitted it was wrong and payed reparations. What will Google and others say when China’s totalitarian government falls and people accuse them of having supported that government? Either you have principles or you don’t. It’s not like either Google or Microsoft would go broke if they didn’t sell to China, it is about them wanting to make MORE money.

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  6. Hmmm, working with China, resisting the US Govt and missing your earnings estimate. Not been a good couple of weeks for Google.

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  7. from the Washington Post:
    “Google’s answer to the China dilemma is better, and more subtle, than that of other Internet firms. It does not simply assert that engagement with China is always good. It recognizes the arms race between China’s repressive state power and China’s liberating economic growth, and it accepts the conclusion that follows: Some forms of engagement hasten liberal trends; others empower jailers.”

    the point is Google didn’t sell out; they made a tough compromise, but the best they could in a difficult situation. the Great Firewall of China is already in place; and Google made sure it would not be asked to turn over dissidents as Yahoo! did; it made sure it would let users know when their results are censored.

    Google hasn’t strayed from its ideals–it made a practical compromise which is very different than selling out.

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