Google’s motivations to move back into the Chinese cyberspace–as first reported by The Intercept–with its censoring Mandarin search engine, internally called project “Dragonfly,” are clearly motivated by business considerations. The number of Chinese internet users has been growing by about 70% since 2010 while the growth rate over the same time period in the US did not exceed 20%. As a result, a fifth of today’s daily worldwide four billion internet users call China their home.
In a world where a company’s success and even more so its leaders is frequently measured in growth rates rather than volume, to forfeit a share of the pie in the single most important market by size seems an insurmountable challenge for a profit-driven company. Since the news broke, Google has been heavily criticized for “supporting” and “legitimizing” the Censorship of the ruling Communist party.
Read my opinion in the Washington Post to get a glimpse of an angle how democracy could perhaps benefit from Google’s re-entry into China.