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Google Outage Shows Risk of Doing Business In China 113

Posted by samzenpus
from the price-of-doing-business dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The WSJ reports that widespread disruptions to Google in China over the weekend, halting use of everything from Google's search engine to its Gmail email service to its Google Play mobile-applications store, underscore the uncertainty surrounding Beijing's effort to control the flow of information into the country, as well as the risks that effort poses to the government's efforts to draw global businesses. The source of the disruptions couldn't be determined, but Internet experts pointed to China's Internet censorship efforts, which have been ratcheted up ahead of the 18th Party Congress. 'There appears to be a throttling under way of Web access,' says David Wolf, citing recent articles in foreign media about corruption and wealth in China spurred by the party congress and the fall of former party star Bo Xilai, 'that's their primary concern, people getting news either through Google or through its services.' Beijing risks a backlash if it were to block Google outright on a long-term basis, says Wolf and such a move could put Beijing in violation of its free-trade commitment under the World Trade Organization and make China a less-attractive place to do business. 'If China insists in the medium and long term of creating another Great Firewall between the China cloud and the rest of the world, China will be an increasingly untenable place to do business.'"
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Google Outage Shows Risk of Doing Business In China

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just stop doing business with China, then.
    They do this crap because they know they can get away with it, since everybody will try to do business with and in China anyway.
    If you care, just take a firm stance and do business elsewhere.

    • by h00manist (800926)

      All they need to do is create a new index for import tariffs, putting China at a very high rate. Just derived the formula for the tariff from a nations amount of slave labor, world pollution index, smuggling rates, etc.

  • if this could be related to the BGP routes issue last week
    http://blog.cloudflare.com/why-google-went-offline-today-and-a-bit-about

    seriously, there should be a 1 strike rule on announcing prefixes that are
    not in control of the announcing entity.

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Monday November 12, 2012 @12:12PM (#41957015)

    to do business?

    really?

    since when do we CARE ONE BIT about freedom when it comes to the almighty dollar?

    we'll be in china even if they start executing puppies and kittens in the streets.

    there is nothing in this world that will cause western capitalism to turn its back on china.

    stop acting like we have any morals here. we don't. we worship money and anything that gets in its way we will stomp on.

    other than that, we could really care less what they do. and they care less about what we do.

    as long as money flows, the guys who run things are happy to eat popcorn on the sidelines and watch the world burn.

    • by houghi (78078)

      Mod parent up. All this also applies to users who buy stuff from stuff made in China, which is about everybody.

      If you think enough people are willing to buy only American (or European or whatever) start a company that does just that and become rich. Unfortunately you will fail, because not enough people care.

    • Troll moderation is SO unfair...

      Nothing forces a corporation to uphold the rights of ANYONE without some outside influence. If they can game the system they'll do it.

    • Its got nothing to do with morals. Businesses won't operate in China if they can be shut down on a whim, much too risky.

      • sorry but you are wrong.

        today, already, businesses can be 'shut down' by the US gov in the US or the china gov in china. even if you follow laws, the US can shut you down if they 'want to'. they can grab your domain and hold onto it and return it, maybe, years later with no apology.

        does this stop business?

        NO!

        they consider punative things 'cost of doing business'. its in their cost analysis they all do. they assume they'll get sued for X amount, have to pay Y sometimes, and still the remainder makes it w

  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday November 12, 2012 @12:39PM (#41957325) Homepage

    I suppose this is just another thing that needs to be repeated until it is generally accepted. You know, kind of like "smoking is bad for you and everyone around you."

    There are ample examples of how doing business in China have turned really bad on all scales. It is especially obvious when heavy tech such as aircraft and train manufacturing have been screwed over by the promises of the Chinese government which were later revoked causing amazing damage to the companies who put their faith in what they were told.

    We all want to have those WalMart prices in everything we buy. Lower costs of everything from materials and manufacturing to labor and delivery are things we ALL want. But there are risks and I measure those risks with every transaction I make on eBay. (And I am talking about pennies, not billions of dollars.) The risk is heavy on my mind always. But then again, it's the question of risk isn't it?

    These days, whether people realize it or not, but the risk to business has largely been shifted to employees and the general population. When things fail or go badly, who feels the pinch worse? The people on wall street or the people on the street? Somehow, we got to a place where risk is socialized and rewards are privatized.

    So yeah.... there is risk to doing business with china, but the risk is socialized... it's on all of us and we have little we can say or do about it.

    • Sadly, it is not the risk that is socialized. Only the losses. Any gains, no matter how short, stay with the foolish western company and the investors.
    • by Clsid (564627)

      I take it you have never been in China? The only risk right now is not doing business in China. The western world is broke, these guys are a manufacturing powerhouse, cheap labor, cheap housing. Don't be a fear monger if you don't know what you are talking about please. Expanding into Asia is a great way to improve your business, no matter what you are producing.

      • by erroneus (253617)

        The western world is not "broke." When the western world is "in debt" the next question is "two whom?" That's where you will find some obvious answers to obvious questions.

        We don't need to do business with China. We *want* to save a few bucks to increase our profits or at least to lower our costs. Without these savings or cost reductions, how can we guarantee a ridiculously large bonus... a bonus so large that even people in the top 25% earning bracket would never make so much in a life time.

        We live in

  • by InvisibleClergy (1430277) on Monday November 12, 2012 @12:59PM (#41957585)

    They're just degrading service, rather than blocking it. If you degrade service, people will naturally move away because they will think it is the service's fault, not the government's fault.

  • and if the internal operation of your business depends on something as flaky as the internet then prepare for profit loses.
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Monday November 12, 2012 @01:48PM (#41958221) Journal
    Chinese gov. is counting on businesses being lead by short-thinking greedy fools. Look at Trans-Mag, Germany's cool and innovative mag-lev. China agreed to buy it and gave assurances that their tech would not be stolen. To assure that, Germany had posted guards at various locations to stop China from entering. Then China simply sent in the red army, forced the doors open and allowed a number of engineers/academia's to look over the tech. As such, China is now developing a number of new low-cost mag-levs based on Germany's approach.

    Boeing and Airbus have been FOOLISH in allowing China to do various parts of planes. Sadly, Boeing gives one part of a plane to China and buys Boeing. But then China approached Airbus and says that if you will give us a different part from an airbus plane, then we will put that plane on the approved list. IOW, Chinese gov. is making sure that they get access to ALL of the tech because so many western companies think short-term.
    • by Clsid (564627)

      Then by all means we deserve to be overrun by China. The US govt has been long been a tool of these corporate fools. I don't see an issue with what China is doing, it's only logical that they want to take advantage of every opportunity they can. The main problems is neither the White House or Congress are willing to do what it takes because they would just have fight many enterprises in the process.

    • Why is this sad? Certainly everybody who does business in China knew 25 years ago that they steal technology. If Boeing is dumb enough to subsidize the development of a Chinese competitor, that's their loss.

      The tragedy here is the inability to even learn, not just the lack of long term thinking.

  • Well, there are risks in doing business in China. Really, if you think you should not interest in politics, then politics will have interest in you. But in that case, it is to depend on Google for things like email that seems like the bad decision, in my opinion. When you are in China, you knowwithout being a conspiracy theorist, that the government does eavesdrop on you, or at least can.

    What will you do the day where the SSL certificate from Google says it is invalid? Will you really resist getting to yo
  • Google's predicament in China is entirely self created. Google elected to leave China in response to a hack attack perpetrated / tolerated by the Chinese government. Mr. Brin played a large part in the decision largely based on his experience growing up in Russia. China != Russia. Google made a huge mistake leaving China. Google used to own half of the market, now they own a fraction. Eventually Google will make a good business decision and return to China, but until then those of us living in China will ju

    • No, Google made a purely rational decision to leave China. Most importantly it has become clear the Chinese government wants local companies to dominate the internet there. As a result not a single non-Chinese internet company has succeeded in China. When a powerful government wants you to lose, there is no point in playing the game. Consequently we've seen Google, Yahoo, EBay, Bing, Facebook, Twitter all essentially cede the market.

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