Google Out of China

By David Baron
2010 | Case No. P76
Despite concerns about censorship and putting users in jeopardy, Google decided to launch in 2006. Google stated that it would monitor conditions in China and even reconsider its approach to China if warranted.

Three years later, in December 2009, Google detected an extensive and sophisticated cyber attack that targeted companies and specific employees within the companies. Google investigated the attack and announced that it would change its approach in China. Google would no longer censor results in China and acknowledged that this move might result in shutting down It then moved its search business to Hong Kong to outside the great firewall.

This case explores the ethical dilemmas raised by Google’s foray into the Chinese market while trying to adhere to its motto of “Don’t Be Evil.” The case also identifies the market consequences of its decision to withdraw from China and the reactions of its competitors and Chinese firms with which it had been working.
This material is available for download by current Stanford GSB students, faculty, and staff, as well as Stanford GSB alumni. For inquires, contact the Case Writing Office. Download