Expanding Social Media Into the Chinese Market Essay

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Twitter is expanding its social media business into China. This report seeks to describe the potential problems of this expansion by analyzing Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft’s mistakes after attempting to enter the Chinese market in 2006.

According to Amnesty International (AI), an international human rights organization, the Chinese government has been violating the “fundamental human rights” of its citizens, and Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft have been “complicit.” AI defines these human rights as being inalienable for all human beings. By this definition, AI believes that Chinese citizens have rights that cannot be infringed upon by the Chinese government. In addition, AI argues that a company can be accused of being “complicit” if it:
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This censorship is a product of the Chinese government’s goal to control the flow of all content and information over the Internet, especially information that the government believes to be critical and damaging to the nation. AI accuses these companies of succumbing to the lure of an untapped, lucrative market and consequently, failing to uphold the fundamental human rights. In particular:

• At the government’s request, Google had launched a censored version of its world-renowned search engine in China.
• Yahoo! had provided private information about its users to the Chinese government. The government used this information to convict a citizen who had peacefully exercised his right to free expression.
• Microsoft had shut down a blog at the request of the Chinese government.

Google’s CEO has argued that the “democratization” of the Internet empowers individuals to be more critical of governments and politicians. As a company, it has decided to uphold fundamental human rights.

Yet, despite its motto, “Don’t be evil,” which insists on holding itself to be morally conscious, Google released Google.cn for Chinese users in January 2006. Google created this censored version of its popular search engine “in response to local laws and regulations,” even though its own policies state that it does not and will not censor search results.

In response to the criticism the

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