Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Power of Business

No offense to Tiger Woods, Sarah Palin, or any of the other default headliners, but yesterday I came across, in my mind, the most important news piece in months. (Apparently, those who know me say I can come off a little authoritative.)

So, why is a Chinese cyber-attack on Google and other international corporations such a big deal?

1. It could be argued that it is an act of war, though--of course--there will be no state-led retaliation. But think of it. China attacking a U.S. company. Is this that different from the German U-boats attacking U.S. merchant ships--the threat that led the U.S. to enter into WWI?

2. The fact that Google will retaliate--and not the U.S.--illustrates the state's ever decreasing relevance.

3. The way that Google will retaliate is brillant, efficient, and sufficient--three things that the government is not and hasn't been for a long time. Google will give China one of two options: Either China will allow Google to operate without restriction (before the attack, Google permited censorship) or Google will abandon its business in China. This is a lose-lose for The Communist Party.

4. If China chooses the former option, Google will have achieved something that has eluded organizations and governments for decades: Openess in China.

Three cheers for the power of business.

2 comments:

Lindsey said...

Do I find this to be interesting with potentially good consequences or just troubling? I haven't decided which one yet. But I like your analysis.

Fancy Nancy said...

So there--business can be good! So many think otherwise these days.

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