Executives from Google Inc. and other Internet companies head to Capitol Hill next week, where they will become feature players in an awkward debate: Are U.S. companies giving in to China too easily?
Last month, Google announced an agreement with the Chinese government to censor search results from its Chinese site. It was the latest Internet company to accede to the Chinese government's censorship restrictions, following Cisco Systems Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc.
The hearing will likely produce more embarrassing publicity for the companies, and it may drive legislative momentum among lawmakers concerned about China's influence on the U.S. economy. Congressional aides are expecting a standing-room-only crowd, and the reception from politicians may be chilly.
My thoughts on the whole Google/China thing: as a public company they have to go into China, least they face lawsuits from shareholders for failing in the legally mandated fudiciary oblication to increase shareholder value by their failure to enter one of (if not the) fastest growing economies in the world. If they were still a public company, no problem, they could continue to do No Evil™ by ignoring the Chinese market.
But given they're a public company, they have the legal obligation to help the Chinese in order to increase their bottom line. And from what I understand, they took their time in entering the market (I'm sure that if they had an excuse not to go into China, they wouldn't have).
Remember, Google is a public company, and to a public company, that which is not outright illegal, must be done, all in the name of the dollar.