1. Market leadership as illustrated by Google’s initiatives in approaching the information market is premised on its strategic adherence to the Company’s mission. While, Google does not have a monopoly over the information provision market, the Company’s mission, “to organize the World’s information and make it universally acceptable and useful” is a strategic selling point (Hill & Jones, 2012). Google’s mission has enabled the creation of a comprehensive, search engine capable of providing information at the stroke of a keyword. Google’s mission reiterates the critical nature of information availability when and where needed (Scott, 2008). Therefore, the creation of Google’s search engine with a mission to provide accessible, comprehensive and uncensored information without bias on any given topic has provided Google with a significant competitive advantage (Hill & Jones, 2012).
Google’s mission aspires to provide information to all at no cost of acquiring that information from its sites. Given Google’s availability to all persons seeking information, it characteristically becomes the meeting point of all consumers seeking information on products or services. Consequently, Google search engine becomes a prime source of advertisement revenue for the company. The capability of Google’s search engine to source information from various sources, through keywords, provides users with a choice of the most relevant information suited to their needs (Scott, 2008).
Meanwhile, while other search companies may feel the need to censor the information they provide to users. Google’s mission is premised on availing information to all without bias or prejudice; therefore, where other companies suppress information for various reasons, Google has a mission to provide access to all information fully and freely. As such Google has a strategic advantage in attracting more users and consequently more advertisers with a result of increasing the company’s overall profitability.
2. Google’s mission is premised on the organization of information and making it useful and acceptable to all. However, Google’s attempt to provide full and readily accessible information to its users in China has been met with significant challenges. These challenges restrict the extent of information which can be readily accessible by the public through internet search engines in China (Scott, 2008). Google’s operations are premised on the Mantra “Don’t be evil”; which abhors censorship of information or provision of biased information with the purpose to mislead, suppress or derail users. Google’s initial attempt to roll out operations in China was met with subsequent closure of its site in China. China’s censorship of Google’s provision of information negated the company’s mission and ethical stance of doing no evil. However, while the censored material related to political issues, Google could not ignore the revenue potential presented in China.
Therefore, the revenue potential of the Chinese market could not be ignored. As a result, Google aspired to open its operations in China; however, the information provision did not coincide with the company’s mission to provide uncensored information. Consequently, the ethical question of negating its mission in the provision of information in the world including China was met by an assertion that providing Chinese users with partial information was better than no information at all (Hill & Jones, 2012). Google attempted to justify its action of agreeing to the Chinese governments rules on censorship in order to maximize its revenue bases, given China has a high potential of advertisement revenue. In light of this, it is evident that Google’s stance towards internet search in China is not consistent with the company’s mission.
3. While the Chinese users offered Google a significant revenue source, self censorship negated the company’s mantra “Don’t be evil”. This mantra is premised on the fact that suppression of the information constitutes an evil; therefore, it is Google’s mission to enable access to all information without restricting part of the information. Thus, the self censorship of Google’s operations in China constitutes an evil which the company was building against. However, in light of revenue optimization, self censorship was the optimal strategic decision. It is evident that the Chinese users offer a significant revenue source for Google; therefore, the strategic option was to all the information possible under the Chinese Government’s requirements (Hill & Jones, 2012).
Moreover, self censorship endears the company to the Chinese government which would otherwise impose significant restrictions to the company’s activities in the event that Google failed to censor itself. Google’s decision to self censor is characteristically a strategic decision to access the Chinese market without the interference of the government. As a result, Google competes adequately with other companies commanding a significant presence in China (Scott, 2008). Therefore, engaging in self censorship is better than having the government censorship imposed.
4. In the current age of information communication and technology, search engines are critical not only to individual’s but also to companies that rely on information to research on various aspects of its operations. Therefore, in the event that all foreign search engine companies were to decline from investing in China on the basis of censorship concerns; this would derail significant business operations. Most businesses that rely on information on an international scale would be impaired leading to a significant reduction in revenues. Meanwhile, the government would lose a significant percentage of revenues derived from foreign companies.
An action of this nature, would not only prevent Chinese users from accessing readily available information, but would also lead to economic loses to the country given that the foreign search engine companies are instrumental in the creation of jobs and revenues such as advertisement revenues. Therefore, these companies are critical to the economy and the creation of capital in China. However, in the event that the search engine companies declined to invest in China due to censorship concerns, the beneficiary of this action would be the China’s homegrown search engine company Baidu. The company would have a monopoly in the search engine market, with most users reverting to it. However, the Chinese users would be dissatisfied since they would perceive the information provided as only tailored for the Chinese government’s perspective and does not have an international perspective.