"GOOGLE STAND WINS PRAISE" read the headline in the LA Times Business Section on January 14, 2010. I was eager to read the article.Google was no longer willing to censor its Chinese-language search engine. Google began doing that in 2006 because the Chinese government kept blocking the site. Google wanted to gain more access to China's 300 million-internet users. Google issued the following statement at that time.
At the time, that was Google's business proposition. What has changed? The Chinese Communist Party would have you believe that Google was the victim of cyber attacks, or that Google had not overcome Baidu Inc., China's more popular search engine. Both are true, but were these the real drivers or was there something of greater significance?
Did Google's executives look deep inside their corporate souls and realize that providing censored information was more inconsistent with their mission than providing no information. I believe they did some major soul searching (pun intended) and no longer could rationalize their actions as do I dare say as "right"?
Let's face it Google is well, Google, the world leader in search. Their stock only took a 1% negative hit after this announcement. Regardless, with executives failing left and right, our faith is renewed when a company is guided by core principles that are consistent with doing good. Principled decision-making that is something you don't see enough of today. We need more of this in business, education, religion; government and you name it.