Google's Harsh Words for China Just Marketing
Company is doing poorly, and saw convenient rights-related out
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2010 9:56 AM CST
A sign, which reads "Google Bai Bai (bye bye)," is seen near flowers, left by visitors outside the Google China headquarters in Beijing today.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – The stand Google took against Chinese censorship and web-based malevolence yesterday is as much about the search giant’s self interest as any deep moral ideals, Sarah Lacy writes. “I’m not saying human rights didn’t play into the decision,” but it was surely an afterthought. First of all, Google isn’t doing so well in China. “Does anyone really think Google would be doing this if it had top market share in the country?”

With its fiery rhetoric and dusted-off “do no evil” stance, Lacy writes on TechCrunch, Google is “turning what would be a negative into a marketing positive for its business in the rest of the world.” This becomes clearer when you understand that Google is skilled enough in China to know the sort of public excoriation it delivered is no way to negotiate with the government there. The company has obviously decided it’s “ready to burn bridges,” so why not go out with a bang?