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Google Outage Shows Risk of Doing Business In China

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the price-of-doing-business dept.

Businesses 113

Hugh Pickens writes "The WSJ reports that widespread disruptions to Google in China over the weekend, halting use of everything from Google's search engine to its Gmail email service to its Google Play mobile-applications store, underscore the uncertainty surrounding Beijing's effort to control the flow of information into the country, as well as the risks that effort poses to the government's efforts to draw global businesses. The source of the disruptions couldn't be determined, but Internet experts pointed to China's Internet censorship efforts, which have been ratcheted up ahead of the 18th Party Congress. 'There appears to be a throttling under way of Web access,' says David Wolf, citing recent articles in foreign media about corruption and wealth in China spurred by the party congress and the fall of former party star Bo Xilai, 'that's their primary concern, people getting news either through Google or through its services.' Beijing risks a backlash if it were to block Google outright on a long-term basis, says Wolf and such a move could put Beijing in violation of its free-trade commitment under the World Trade Organization and make China a less-attractive place to do business. 'If China insists in the medium and long term of creating another Great Firewall between the China cloud and the rest of the world, China will be an increasingly untenable place to do business.'"

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Laws of country (-1, Troll)

DevTecha (2772183) | about 2 years ago | (#41956845)

You have to abide laws everywhere in the world. This includes abiding Chinese laws if you want to do business there. China has many gigantic internet companies that tailor their sites and products specifically to Chinese market and they are doing just fine.

Remember that you don't hear these news about Baidu, Bing or other chinese search engines and technology companies. It's only Google that seems to be having huge problems in China. Not only with the Chinese government but also Chinese competitors and the way of life. Again, the Chinese versions of Twitter, Facebook, Google etc. are doing just fine.

Fact is, Google has never really had that good market share in China. Baidu has always been a clear winner. This has led to Google annoyingly complaining about the state of things. They are, for once, the monolith that doesn't want to change. This same holds true for Russia and CIS countries where Google is losing to Yandex.

Just like the record companies in the western world and US need to change their business, so does Google in China. More importantly they need to stop bitching and complaining when things aren't going like they would want them to go. For example, Baidu offers mp3 search engines where people can download music for free, legally. Google called quits on such service (they used to run it for a while but never gained popularity).

The fact is, Google is not struggling because the Great Firewall or because the government makes competition hard. Google is struggling on their own regards and only by themselves. They seem not to be able to justify their existence in China and doesn't seem to offer Chinese citizens what they want.

Google is also struggling because they don't have the data points Baidu has because of it's size. They have that in the west and that's also why Google seems to be better than Bing. In today's search engine market not only is your algorithm necessary, but also great amount of data that you can collect. That data is what ultimately makes your algorithm work. Google does not have that in China and Russia and that's why they're struggling in those markets. Not because of the government.

Re:Laws of country (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41956945)

10:58AM Nice copy paste bro!

I agree... (-1, Troll)

bogaboga (793279) | about 2 years ago | (#41957057)

It's about time western companies towed the line of the so called developing world. Good China is standing up to Google.

Governments in the west can be hypocrites who on one hand fight for the "protection of life, liberty and the persuit of hapipiness", while on the other, they encourage abortion; like *cough, cough* Canada, *cough*, the fetus in this case not given a chance to enjoy the same freedoms.

Re:I agree... (3, Informative)

egamma (572162) | about 2 years ago | (#41957477)

It's not "towed" the line. It's not a rope. The phrase is "toed" the line, as in, someone drew a line in the sand and you are sticking your toe across the line, challenging them.

Re:I agree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41957685)

I'm pretty sure that it refers to the start of a race or competition where the participants step to the line w/o crossing it. Given that it generally means to adher to rules or laws this makes more sense...

Re:I agree... (3, Informative)

KeithJM (1024071) | about 2 years ago | (#41957691)

The phrase is "toed" the line, as in, someone drew a line in the sand and you are sticking your toe across the line, challenging them.

Close. Toeing the line means you keep your ties right at the line without crossing it, thus you are specifically obeying all of the rules and not challenging authority.

Re:I agree... (1)

Larryish (1215510) | about 2 years ago | (#41959929)

Correct.

The archaic derivation seems to be:

TOE THE LINE

The space between each pair of deck planks in a wooden ship was filled with packing material called âoeoakumâ and then sealed with a mixture of pitch and tar. The result, from afar, was a series of parallel lines and a half-foot or so apart, running the length of the deck. Once a week, as a rule, usually on Sunday, a warshipâ(TM)s crew was ordered to fall in at quartersâ"that is, each group of men into which the crew was divided would line up in formation in a given area of the deck. To insure a neat alignment of each row, the sailors were directed to stand with their toes just touching a particular seam. Another use for these seams was punitive. The youngsters in a ship, be they shipâ(TM)s boy or student officers, might be required to stand with their toes just touching a designated seam for a length of time as punishment for some minor infraction of discipline, such as talking or fidgeting at the wrong time. A tough captain might require the miscreant to stand there, not talking to anyone, in fair weather or foul, for hours at a time. Hopefully, he would learn it was easier and more pleasant to conduct himself in the required manner rather that suffer the punishment. From these two uses of deck seams comes our cautionary word to obstreperous youngsters to âoetoe the line.â

It's spelled "medieval" (1)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | about 2 years ago | (#41958285)

cf title

Re:I agree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41958827)

you are sticking your toe across the line, challenging them.

Wow, you got the exact opposite meaning of the phrase. Excellent.

Thus proving the point that every time you correct someone, your probably wrong. :)

Re:I agree... (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | about 2 years ago | (#41959001)

Thus proving the point that every time you correct someone, your probably wrong. :)

My probably wrong what? What's this about my probably wrong?

Re:I agree... (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41959161)

Woosh.

Re:I agree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41959551)

Why is this informative? It's wrong.

Re:I agree... (0)

ediron2 (246908) | about 2 years ago | (#41960227)

I think it's TOAD the line. Origin either from battletoads or Toad The Wet Sprocket's unreleased next album, together with a TARDIS mishap innoculating 18th century culture with the phrase and underlying pop culture context enough to sustain it.

(Yeah, mine may be wrong, but it's not utterly backwards like thinking to toe the line is to challenge authority. Oopsie.)

Re:I agree... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41971747)

He probably has a mental picture of a lion at the end of a rope. He just misspelled "lion."

But china doesn't have rule of Law.. (5, Insightful)

nweaver (113078) | about 2 years ago | (#41957075)

China lacks rule of law, it only has rule of the rulers.

Thats the big problem with doing business in China, there is no actual Rule of law [npr.org] .

Should it have one? If so, why? (2)

bogaboga (793279) | about 2 years ago | (#41957225)

I ask because unlike other 'major' western democracies, the UK has no written constitution [independent.co.uk] and its doing well.

So again I ask: Should China have the "rule of law", just because some western countries have it?

Let's remember that it's one thing to have rules and it's another to actually follow them. Some governments in the west have ignored their own rules too. Just saying.

Re:Should it have one? If so, why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41957397)

Yes.
Because, in the most general terms, accountability is required to prevent abuse.

Re:Should it have one? If so, why? (4, Insightful)

Fastolfe (1470) | about 2 years ago | (#41957451)

UK has no written constitution [independent.co.uk] and its doing well.

Just because the UK lacks a single constitutional document does not mean the UK lacks the rule of law: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_United_Kingdom#Parliamentary_supremacy_and_the_rule_of_law [wikipedia.org]

Should China have the "rule of law", just because some western countries have it?

No. China should have the rule of law because the rule of law brings stability and predictability to the way people are governed. In the absence of the rule of law, you have governments and police that are arbitrary and unpredictable, acting based on the whims of the rulers rather than on the deliberated and well-documented intent of a legislature. Without the rule of law corruption and greed are allowed to exist without challenge by the people.

Some governments in the west have ignored their own rules too. Just saying.

Tu quoque, another logical fallacy.

Re:Should it have one? If so, why? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#41977733)

Rule of law is unnecessary in a sufficiently homogeneous environment. There are no "laws" forcing Amish to act Amish. They do so because they wish to do so. If they don't have laws forcing them to act Amish, that doesn't mean they have no "rule of law" that just means that they follow a set of rules that may or may not be written.

China *does* have rule of law. Bribes are illegal, punishable by death. That "rule" is applied consistently from a Chinese perspective, but very inconsistently from a western perspective. That doesn't make it inconsistent. That doesn't make it not a rule of law. It just means that, like the English Constitution, it isn't written down in a single place you can point at.

Re:Should it have one? If so, why? (2)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41957505)

I ask because unlike other 'major' western democracies, the UK has no written constitution and its doing well.

So again I ask: Should China have the "rule of law", just because some western countries have it?

Yes, but with a nuance. China should have the rule of law even if western countries for some reason didn't have it.

Let's remember that it's one thing to have rules and it's another to actually follow them. Some governments in the west have ignored their own rules too. Just saying.

And this rationalizes China how? The peer pressure argument is so easy to mock. So if I were to say, execute six million Jews, I could observe that "some governments in the West did that too". It might not make it "ok", but we'd at least have to pretend to think about whether it was right or wrong.

Re:Should it have one? If so, why? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#41977767)

Yes, but with a nuance. China should have the rule of law even if western countries for some reason didn't have it.

But China does have rule of law, it's just that we don't understand them well enough to get it. We might as well be arguing that Napoleonic code isn't "rule of law" and only English Common Law is. Just because we are too stupid to understand doesn't mean they are wrong.

Re:Should it have one? If so, why? (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41977819)

But China does have rule of law

No, it doesn't. There are too many cases where something was made illegal just because some bureaucrat decided to make it so on the spur of the moment. Rule of law means that what is on the books is followed by the government. For example, rtfa-troll points out [slashdot.org] two parts of China's constitution associated with the exercise of speech and protest which are frequently violated by the government without consequence.

Re:Should it have one? If so, why? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#41978293)

They follow their own rules, but the rules aren't the ones written down. Ask a Chinese person about them, and they'd explain that it was expected for the situation. The rules are there and well understood.

The US has had concentration camps and currently has "free speech" zones. Yet, Americans rarely insist that the US has no rule of law. The laws and rules under them are understood.

Re:Should it have one? If so, why? (1)

Stuntmonkey (557875) | about 2 years ago | (#41971277)

You ask "why is rule of law important?" The answer is predictability. Businesses and individuals can make smarter decisions about their futures (where to invest, how to grow, what partnerships to engage in) if they have some measure of predictability about the future. If rules are arbitrary, or change every year, you lose predictability. And then decision-making is less than optimal.

Note that predictability is a potential outcome of the rule of law, but is not guaranteed. For example the US system today of arbitrarily-granted and unpredictably-upheld technology patents. "Predictable" is the last word you'd use to characterize it; it's become a dangerous minefield especially for small companies.

Re:But china doesn't have rule of Law.. (1)

Infernal Device (865066) | about 2 years ago | (#41957921)

No Western leader ever lost an election by failing to appease China.

We'll harrumph a lot and wag the finger at them, but in the long term, we'll just roll over and let China do whatever the hell it wants to, partly because no one ove here really gives a shit what happens to a bunch of poor Chinese people, and mostly because Western corporations are lining up to cash in on their misery. We're all complicit to an extent, being addicted to the teat of cheap goods, and then washing our consciences by telling our leaders "Go get those dirty bastards! They're taking our jaaaaawbs!"

Whatever war we might have pretended to have against Communist China is over and we lost. We rolled over, showed our belly, and now we're lined up to let China run a train on our economy.

Re:But china doesn't have rule of Law.. (1)

Guppy (12314) | about 2 years ago | (#41962005)

Ironically, China was birthplace of the philosophy known as Legalism [wikipedia.org] :

"The law code must be clearly written and made public. All people under the ruler were equal before the law. Laws should reward those who obey them and punish accordingly those who dare to break them. Thus it is guaranteed that actions taken are systematically predictable. In addition, the system of law ran the state, not the ruler, a statement of rule of law. If the law is successfully enforced, even a weak ruler will be strong."

Even more ironically was that, as a practical philosophy or ruling, Legalism eventually degenerated into a maze of tyrannical and self-contradicting rules, existing only as a tool to enhance the power of the rulers via selective enforcement. Not an uncommon tactic in modern times, but as with many inventions, the Chinese had it first.

Re:But china doesn't have rule of Law.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41981433)

As explained to me by my Chinese lawyer, China has a rule of law, but it is administratively created.

What he meant was that we, in the US, have the mediating layer of the court to decide whether the administrative law meets the standards set down by prior case law and constitutional law. China has no such safeguard, there is only the administrative creation of law, with the judiciary deciding only on whether the law was breached, not whether it is in conflict with the constitution or prior case law.

The importance of case law (and remember, this is my Chinese lawyer explaining this, so if a real lawyer wants to throw down on this please feel free. If you just play a lawyer on the internet I suggest some caution) in the US system is extremely powerful. The judge in a legal case has to consider how similar cases have been adjudicated before making judgment based on their "opinion" of the best understanding of the law. In other words, the judiciary in the US have tremendous latitude to decide questions of justice. In China the law, as written by the legislature, is THE LAW (can you hear the vibrato in that) and the judiciary only tries to achieve certainty that the terms/requirements of the law have been met or not met/broken.

Re:Laws of country (4, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#41957089)

... the point is that China isn't adhering to the free trade treaties they've signed by blocking companies possibilities to do business on a whim.

you see - it's NOT in the law that you can't use Google in China. it's just that they decided to block it for some time now, purely on gut feeling. no laws, no courts, just random decisions.

that's pretty much why it's risky to do business in China and other random dictatorialships in general like Russia. You run immense risks of your business being taken away on a whim. That's also why some places have really hard time attracting investment money despite possibilities for good profits from business, as those places have a really poor track record of having consistent application of law which is pretty much a requirement if you don't want to gamble with your business.

Re:Laws of country (1)

Clsid (564627) | about 2 years ago | (#41959385)

Isn't this what the US govt did to Huawei and ZTE? Oh wait, you actually believe they are a threat to national security. My bad.

Re:Laws of country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41961767)

Isn't this what the US govt did to Huawei and ZTE? Oh wait, you actually believe they are a threat to national security. My bad.

If you ever lived or worked in China, it wouldn't be so difficult to believe that it would be a national security threat.

Re:Laws of country (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#41977773)

What, that a company from a country we "don't like" is out to get us in ways we don't understand, but they should trust us, even though we've actively done what we are accusing them of doing? That's the pot calling the blue sky black.

Re:Laws of country (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41957101)

What was the purpose of your rant? Your first sentence is about being blocked in China and it was a general blanket statement.

The following 5 paragraphs have absolutely NOTHING to do with being blocked. Only a tangent about Google not being popular in other random countries. Are you actually trying to relate Google being blocked with their lack of popularity or was this just a springboard to bitch about unrelated things?

New account, two posts. Very little on topic content
What we have here is a shill. Moderators were fooled.

Re:Laws of country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41957143)

Moderators weren't fooled (I certainly wasn't). Chances are the shill also has a bunch of moderator shills going along with it. Don't worry, the score is dropping back down.

Re:Laws of country (1)

unix_core (943019) | about 2 years ago | (#41957167)

Looking at the current state of things, hasn't Google already withdrawn from mainland China more or less? If the government would make the decision to block Google's services because they are somehow not abiding Chinese law, I don't doubt they could do so easily.

I live in west china and starting some time last week, is the only time I've had problems accessing Gmail. There hasn't been any complete blocking, but access have been slow and sporadic in a way that I would usually assume is just issues with the service itself. The only odd thing is that it's always worked flawlessly before and it's coincidence with the congress.

Re:Laws of country (0)

pewterbot9 (1559933) | about 2 years ago | (#41958227)

I've used gmail for several years now (here in the USA)...and it's /always/ kludgy. No matter where I log on, no matter when (and no matter which laptop/netbook/PC I use). I use various wifi services, from libraries to coffeehouses. Always: Gmail is slow, laborious, and not very intuitive. Is this proof of gov't/corporate intrusion; or just the result of crappy company policy? I'm surprised (and a bit envious) that China got such good Google service for so long, till now. Guess the honeymoon's over!

Re:Laws of country (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#41957249)

I know it's cliche to call 'shrill' around here, but... it is no secret that the Chinese government employs an army of propagandists, mostly part-timers, with the job of patroling the internet looking for Chinese blogs and discussion forums and defending the government from criticism. I am not aware if they extend the program to English-language sites, but if they do, the above post is exactly what I would expect them to post. Some of those lines, like 'This includes abiding Chinese laws if you want to do business there,' are straight out of the government policy and perfectly echo previous statements by officials on such matters.

Re:Laws of country (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 2 years ago | (#41958639)

I know it's cliche to call 'shrill' around here,

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. Perhaps you meant "shill"? That's still not quite the right term for what you've described, but it's a lot closer than adjective describing a certain auditory characteristic. No?

Re:Laws of country (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#41959341)

I did, yes. As for the meaning, if you ignore the spelling error, I believe my usage is accurate. My understanding is that it refers to a person who advocates for an entity with which they are in some manner associated, but without disclosing that association? In this case I was raising the possibility that a comment like that shows characteristics of one of the many people paid by the Chinese government to post in their defense on the internet.

I doubt it really was though. A slashdot user with a rich history like DevTecha would just take too much effort to fake. If it was an AC, then I'd be much more suspicious.

Re:Laws of country (1)

Clsid (564627) | about 2 years ago | (#41959405)

So according to you, everybody that doesn't hate the Chinese govt is a paid tool of that government. Jesus.

Re:Laws of country (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#41961187)

Not this one. Look at the user history - too elaborate to be worth the effort of faking. What I mean is the obvious: Doubt anyone you find on the internet.

Re:Laws of country (4, Informative)

euyis (1521257) | about 2 years ago | (#41957277)

The fact is, Google is not struggling because the Great Firewall or because the government makes competition hard. Google is struggling on their own regards and only by themselves. They seem not to be able to justify their existence in China and doesn't seem to offer Chinese citizens what they want.

Hmm, it only takes one paragraph to tell that you're talking out of your ass. Have you ever tried to use any Google service from China? Do you have the faintest idea how long does it take to load one page of search results, or how often does the Wall reset all connections to Google from your IP for one full minute, for some censorship filter was triggered by the most ordinary and unoffensive search terms? And these things are not exactly good for business.

Re:Laws of country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41957329)

Wow you typed all that at 10:58AM? Looks like Burson-Marsteller is getting more skilled at gaming slashdot.

Re:Laws of country (4, Informative)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about 2 years ago | (#41957339)

You have to abide laws everywhere in the world. This includes abiding Chinese laws..

Right; so how about: The Chinese government starts following Chinese law, in particular article 35 or the Chinese constitution which says:

Article 35. Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration

or this:

Article 41. Citizens of the People's Republic of China have the right to criticize and make suggestions to any state organ or functionary. Citizens have the right to make to relevant state organs complaints and charges against, or exposures of, violation of the law or dereliction of duty by any state organ or functionary; but fabrication or distortion of facts with the intention of libel or frame-up is prohibited. In case of complaints, charges or exposures made by citizens, the state organ concerned must deal with them in a responsible manner after ascertaining the facts. No one may suppress such complaints, charges and exposures, or retaliate against the citizens making them. Citizens who have suffered losses through infringement of their civil rights by any state organ or functionary have the right to compensation in accordance with the law.

And how about, companies like Microsoft, Cisco and so on, start obeying Chinese law by treating those that break that article of the constitution as criminals and stop doing business with them?

Re:Laws of country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41981555)

Please see my post above about how the Chinese idea of "law" relates to their legal and governmental systems. Basically, you see a connection between the constituion that is based on a western standard. Let me explain:

The constitution is used in China to inform the language of the legislature. They carefully craft laws that do not overtly contravene/contradict the constitution. However, there is no mediator of the law/ constitution dichotomy after that. The legal system exists only to determine the correctness of the executive's actions in arresting someone for breaking a law. There is no possibility for the judiciary to discuss the constitutionality of any particular law. Your assume that as a role of the judiciary, but in China it is just not so.

Once the legislature has passed a law, it is the law, period. The only possible action to follow would be to revoke the law by legislative action, which does happen, but never in the public eye.

It's not usually the law's problem (1)

r6144 (544027) | about 2 years ago | (#41957453)

While some particularly "sensitive" content might be technically in violation of Chinese law (the law might be wrong even then, but that's a different matter), the majority of the GFW'd content are not illegal, even in China, and very often they would not even be considered sensitive in any way. On the other hand, we do have computer security laws, and disrupting the public Internet via passive and active attacks, as the so-called GFW does, is probably as illegal as they are in developed countries, and I am not aware of any law that grants special permission to such behavior, as it has little to do with either law enforcement or national security.

We still have many "old-thinkers" in high positions that do not realize the importance of network security or even rule of law, let alone free speech. It would be extremely attractive for companies to exploit the naivete of such people for their own profit; in other words, it is protectionism, and a rather corrupt form at that. While I don't know who is actually doing this, I find it rather unlikely that nobody has thought of this.

Not addressing the point (1)

dsvick (987919) | about 2 years ago | (#41957473)

You have to abide laws everywhere in the world. This includes abiding Chinese laws if you want to do business there. China has many gigantic internet companies that tailor their sites and products specifically to Chinese market and they are doing just fine.

Laws? What part of the OP mentioned laws? In what way is any of what you said related to the disruptions?

Re:Laws of country (1)

ickleberry (864871) | about 2 years ago | (#41959985)

Why is this modded troll? Google, like the Chinese themselves hate to see a bad word said about them. Parent is a sensible post, not offensive and offers an alternative point of view

Re:Laws of country (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41960501)

The first statement was basically if you don't like China, don't play with them, fair enough and on point but... In the same paragraph it then associates that with why Google sucks and their business model in China and Russia sucks and blah blah. Hardly insightful or informative at all. It was a new poster and a new account with two posts. It was posted (and top posted) for a reason and that reason was a shill, not to get the conversation going, not to show a different side of the story and not as a reply to someone with a different view. You can spot those type of posts a mile away.

It was a point of view but not one related to the topic at all.

just stop then (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41956933)

Just stop doing business with China, then.
They do this crap because they know they can get away with it, since everybody will try to do business with and in China anyway.
If you care, just take a firm stance and do business elsewhere.

Re:just stop then (1)

h00manist (800926) | about 2 years ago | (#41957221)

All they need to do is create a new index for import tariffs, putting China at a very high rate. Just derived the formula for the tariff from a nations amount of slave labor, world pollution index, smuggling rates, etc.

anyone else curious (1)

DECula (6113) | about 2 years ago | (#41956935)

if this could be related to the BGP routes issue last week
http://blog.cloudflare.com/why-google-went-offline-today-and-a-bit-about

seriously, there should be a 1 strike rule on announcing prefixes that are
not in control of the announcing entity.

Re:anyone else curious (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | about 2 years ago | (#41957033)

seeing how the leaked route was from Pakistan, no, it wasn't related at all.

Re:anyone else curious (1)

DECula (6113) | about 2 years ago | (#41957083)

So you did catch that the Pakistani company's upstream was PCCW?

Re:anyone else curious (1)

retep (108840) | about 2 years ago | (#41957413)

This article refers to a different incident where Google was explicitly blocked prior to a leadership change in China. The Pakistan routing screw up is completely different.

Re:anyone else curious (4, Informative)

euyis (1521257) | about 2 years ago | (#41957151)

It was a mass DNS poisoning for the outage in China, at least for me. All subdomains on google.com were deliberately resolved to some random IP allocated to South Korea, and a hosts file quickly fixed it.

Re:anyone else curious (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#41957991)

Why would the Chinese government do it so half-assed?

Re:anyone else curious (2)

edcalaban (1077719) | about 2 years ago | (#41958403)

Probably because most people won't know how to fix it.

Re:anyone else curious (1)

PrimaryConsult (1546585) | about 2 years ago | (#41962437)

And every time they ask for help on a web forum they'll probably be met with "Just Google it!"... stroke of brilliance by the Chinese gov't.

China will be an increasingly untenable place ... (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#41957015)

to do business?

really?

since when do we CARE ONE BIT about freedom when it comes to the almighty dollar?

we'll be in china even if they start executing puppies and kittens in the streets.

there is nothing in this world that will cause western capitalism to turn its back on china.

stop acting like we have any morals here. we don't. we worship money and anything that gets in its way we will stomp on.

other than that, we could really care less what they do. and they care less about what we do.

as long as money flows, the guys who run things are happy to eat popcorn on the sidelines and watch the world burn.

Re:China will be an increasingly untenable place . (2)

houghi (78078) | about 2 years ago | (#41957369)

Mod parent up. All this also applies to users who buy stuff from stuff made in China, which is about everybody.

If you think enough people are willing to buy only American (or European or whatever) start a company that does just that and become rich. Unfortunately you will fail, because not enough people care.

Re:China will be an increasingly untenable place . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41959173)

They won't fail because not enough people care. They will likely run into insurmountable difficulties. The chain for any given product is likely tied to something from China and/or other similar states. There are I'm sure many commodities for instance that aren't sourced here or non-commodities for that matter. The last remaining mines for rare earth are an example. However if you look at electronics there are only a handful of companies designing any particular piece. Are you going to run your business off paper manufactured in the USA? Because if you are your likely breaking the law. Many states have passed laws/rules/etc which require your to submit and pay taxes online.

Re:China will be an increasingly untenable place . (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41957433)

Troll moderation is SO unfair...

Nothing forces a corporation to uphold the rights of ANYONE without some outside influence. If they can game the system they'll do it.

Re:China will be an increasingly untenable place . (0)

aliquis (678370) | about 2 years ago | (#41957489)

All mighty dollar?

Somewhat of a stretch isn't it?
http://goldprice.org/gold-price-history.html#10_year_gold_price [goldprice.org]

Re:China will be an increasingly untenable place . (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#41957699)

Even gold is priced in Dollars.

Re:China will be an increasingly untenable place . (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 2 years ago | (#41958493)

Gold is priced in anything.

I can buy gold for SEK, I could likely trade gold for silver and if I offered you enough gold you'd sell me a house.

Re:China will be an increasingly untenable place . (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 2 years ago | (#41958011)

Its got nothing to do with morals. Businesses won't operate in China if they can be shut down on a whim, much too risky.

Re:China will be an increasingly untenable place . (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#41958967)

sorry but you are wrong.

today, already, businesses can be 'shut down' by the US gov in the US or the china gov in china. even if you follow laws, the US can shut you down if they 'want to'. they can grab your domain and hold onto it and return it, maybe, years later with no apology.

does this stop business?

NO!

they consider punative things 'cost of doing business'. its in their cost analysis they all do. they assume they'll get sued for X amount, have to pay Y sometimes, and still the remainder makes it worth it.

even if they lose all tooling and IP they have in china, they (the company) still has probably made enough to justify a short stay there. and when the 'all clear' horn is sounded, they'll pop up as another name and start all over again.

Re:China will be an increasingly untenable place . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41958321)

They actually do kill cats for food in the streets via flailing, so you've got that going for your post

Re:China will be an increasingly untenable place . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41958775)

It's "couldn't care less". If you could care less about it, then that means that you do care.

However, the rest of what you say, I agree with 100%.

Re:China will be an increasingly untenable place . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41962531)

WSJ is yet another masturbating eunuch.
Nobody is holding a gun to Sergey and Larry's head to be in China.
If businesses don't like it, they are perfectly free to leave the country.
But it appears businesses don't have a problem with being in China (are you writing this down WSJ?), which is forecast to overtake the United States as the largest economy in the world in 2016 (no citation, just heard it on television).

Re:China will be an increasingly untenable place . (1)

moneybabylon (2226376) | about 2 years ago | (#41965031)

Actually, the article is right.

I am a businessman in China.

They don't mean "untenable" as in not breaking moral conscience or human rights or laws common to human societies.

They mean "untenable" as in difficult to make money.

The Chinese Communist Party has made current China and its Chinese without any morals or loyalty. It is common knowledge everyone's goal there is to get rich as quickly as possible using corruptions and cheating and outright violence, so that they can get foreign passports for themselves and their immediate familys to flee China. (which every high government officials and rich person have done successfully)

What this means in business is that there is no long-term incentive for anything e.g. basic research, integrity, trust, loyalty to business partners or companies etc.

Therefore for foreign companies trying to do business in China it has become "untenable" because after you have invested money you find your assets and business stolen by your employees and people all around you, money extorted by local officials, and whole business taken from you literally by the state.

Ofcourse, for such "business model" without any core value or laws it won't last forever.

It can manage for a period, with central planning, mass everyone to modernize and spark high growth to the untrained eyes. But ultimately it is borrowing from the future and inevitably the whole system will come collapsing down like a house of cards.

Because like a house of cards, there is no collective rules and regulations, no moral guidance, no incentive for long-term common goals.

In the near future (no one can predict exactly when) China's economy will run into a wall (if not already because official figures surely won't tell you). At that stage things become really interesting with the Chinese Communist Party, because they only thing they can offer the people in return for ruthless dictatorship i.e. high economic growth, is no longer available.

It will be a place of 1.3 billion very angry people who are set loose. (they are already very angry right now with massive social unrest all across the board)

It may not happen tomorrow, or next week, but it is bound to happen because what is outlined above is just basic classic human conditions.

You Fail It!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41957301)

real prob7ems Visit

Everyone knows the risk of doing business in china (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#41957325)

I suppose this is just another thing that needs to be repeated until it is generally accepted. You know, kind of like "smoking is bad for you and everyone around you."

There are ample examples of how doing business in China have turned really bad on all scales. It is especially obvious when heavy tech such as aircraft and train manufacturing have been screwed over by the promises of the Chinese government which were later revoked causing amazing damage to the companies who put their faith in what they were told.

We all want to have those WalMart prices in everything we buy. Lower costs of everything from materials and manufacturing to labor and delivery are things we ALL want. But there are risks and I measure those risks with every transaction I make on eBay. (And I am talking about pennies, not billions of dollars.) The risk is heavy on my mind always. But then again, it's the question of risk isn't it?

These days, whether people realize it or not, but the risk to business has largely been shifted to employees and the general population. When things fail or go badly, who feels the pinch worse? The people on wall street or the people on the street? Somehow, we got to a place where risk is socialized and rewards are privatized.

So yeah.... there is risk to doing business with china, but the risk is socialized... it's on all of us and we have little we can say or do about it.

Re:Everyone knows the risk of doing business in ch (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#41958247)

Sadly, it is not the risk that is socialized. Only the losses. Any gains, no matter how short, stay with the foolish western company and the investors.

Re:Everyone knows the risk of doing business in ch (0)

Clsid (564627) | about 2 years ago | (#41959515)

I take it you have never been in China? The only risk right now is not doing business in China. The western world is broke, these guys are a manufacturing powerhouse, cheap labor, cheap housing. Don't be a fear monger if you don't know what you are talking about please. Expanding into Asia is a great way to improve your business, no matter what you are producing.

Re:Everyone knows the risk of doing business in ch (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#41961845)

The western world is not "broke." When the western world is "in debt" the next question is "two whom?" That's where you will find some obvious answers to obvious questions.

We don't need to do business with China. We *want* to save a few bucks to increase our profits or at least to lower our costs. Without these savings or cost reductions, how can we guarantee a ridiculously large bonus... a bonus so large that even people in the top 25% earning bracket would never make so much in a life time.

We live in a time of incredible greed and lust for power. The banks own the nations of the world. But I learned something about debt some time ago. It's only something to worry about when someone else is willing to do something to you as a result. In our case, it's pretty much nothing to worry about. The "federal reserve bank" is not about to foreclose on the US or any other country. The moment they do, they become immediately visible and all debts get cancelled by virtue of revolution.

They're doing this in a Really Crafty way... (2)

InvisibleClergy (1430277) | about 2 years ago | (#41957585)

They're just degrading service, rather than blocking it. If you degrade service, people will naturally move away because they will think it is the service's fault, not the government's fault.

Re:They're doing this in a Really Crafty way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41959989)

Except here in China, everyone assumes it is the government blocking Google, never a service fault.

Yu0 fail it!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41957599)

Similarities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41957637)

Is it just me, or isn't this exactly the same as submitting an app to the Apple App store?
You never know if you'll be allowed entry, and can get the boot anytime for no reason...

Re:Similarities (1)

readin (838620) | about 2 years ago | (#41958263)

Is it just me, or isn't this exactly the same as submitting an app to the Apple App store? You never know if you'll be allowed entry, and can get the boot anytime for no reason...

Perhaps it is close, but at least on the App Store the customers are free to stop using Apple and switch to Android. This is the difference between a corporation and a government. This is true whether we're talking about the U.S. government or the Chinese government. You can change employers, you can change insurance companies, you can change your electronic equipment - unless the government says you can't, and you don't get to switch to another government.

You can emigrate. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41959735)

And you may have to leave your stuff behind, but that's no different from losing all those apps you bought neither.

they are just mainframe problems (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about 2 years ago | (#41958077)

and if the internal operation of your business depends on something as flaky as the internet then prepare for profit loses.

Get real. This was already known, just ignored (4, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#41958221)

Chinese gov. is counting on businesses being lead by short-thinking greedy fools. Look at Trans-Mag, Germany's cool and innovative mag-lev. China agreed to buy it and gave assurances that their tech would not be stolen. To assure that, Germany had posted guards at various locations to stop China from entering. Then China simply sent in the red army, forced the doors open and allowed a number of engineers/academia's to look over the tech. As such, China is now developing a number of new low-cost mag-levs based on Germany's approach.

Boeing and Airbus have been FOOLISH in allowing China to do various parts of planes. Sadly, Boeing gives one part of a plane to China and buys Boeing. But then China approached Airbus and says that if you will give us a different part from an airbus plane, then we will put that plane on the approved list. IOW, Chinese gov. is making sure that they get access to ALL of the tech because so many western companies think short-term.

Re:Get real. This was already known, just ignored (1)

Clsid (564627) | about 2 years ago | (#41959587)

Then by all means we deserve to be overrun by China. The US govt has been long been a tool of these corporate fools. I don't see an issue with what China is doing, it's only logical that they want to take advantage of every opportunity they can. The main problems is neither the White House or Congress are willing to do what it takes because they would just have fight many enterprises in the process.

Re:Get real. This was already known, just ignored (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41960817)

I currently live in Tianjin where the Airbus factory is. I have spoken to some of the guys from Airbus and I asked them about China stealing their tech. Their response was, it didn't really matter since the planes they make in China are based on technology that is 20 years old. All their new technologies don't go anywhere near China.

Re:Get real. This was already known, just ignored (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41961237)

will, china has been FOOLISHLY bought 100's of airplane from both companies. sadly, china should has been building their own plane.

Re:Get real. This was already known, just ignored (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 2 years ago | (#41969061)

Why is this sad? Certainly everybody who does business in China knew 25 years ago that they steal technology. If Boeing is dumb enough to subsidize the development of a Chinese competitor, that's their loss.

The tragedy here is the inability to even learn, not just the lack of long term thinking.

Time for survival steps for USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41958391)

If the USA wants to see its economy survive, this is the time for a total embargo of all Chinese made, owned, or controlled products.

Sure, Americans will scream and hate having to pay higher prices.
If they want jobs, there is no longer any choice.

This will never happen though.

The 1% make too much money from China.

It's the opposite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41958563)

You should be ware of doing business using Google as if you have all your business depending on one vendor then when the vendor is or not made available you are stuck.

China is not my best friend but they have their political and economical reason for controlling information as we like to think we have the right to do the same in the US. On the other hand, Google is a private corporation to whom we tend to entrust way too much information to.

Good luck

USA doesn't seem to be any better for some compani (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41958729)

Doing legal business inside the USA doesn't seem to be any better for some companies.
* ICE can and will take over your host.
* Domains can and will be seized withuot due process
* DCMA takedowns overrule sensible checks

The USA isn't any better these days.

I don't really believe all this, it was just to make a point. The Chinese government is bad too, but at least there, you expect to be screwed when you do business. Just ask Seimens, Microsoft, Apple, Qualcom, and any other non-Chinese company attempting to do business there.

Chinks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41959113)

Ching Chong
Ping Pong
Ling Long
Nip Nong

WTO free trade commitment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41959503)

Well, lets look at that.

There's a country that is still breaking their WTO commitments for, among other things, putting a protectionist tariff on Canadian softwood.

This doesn't seem to have hurt their standing and caused WTO to go all nuclear on their ass...

Re:WTO free trade commitment? (1)

Yo Grark (465041) | about 2 years ago | (#41960015)

An we continue to be pissed about it except it makes no news because we have "mini-bush" in the PM's office!

- Yo Grark

Google outage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41960125)

Google outage shows only the risk in doing business with Google and nothing else. Stop cold war rants.

What about the risk of doing business with Google? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about 2 years ago | (#41960623)

Well, there are risks in doing business in China. Really, if you think you should not interest in politics, then politics will have interest in you. But in that case, it is to depend on Google for things like email that seems like the bad decision, in my opinion. When you are in China, you knowwithout being a conspiracy theorist, that the government does eavesdrop on you, or at least can.

What will you do the day where the SSL certificate from Google says it is invalid? Will you really resist getting to your email account once it is solved? Will all of your employees? How will you tell them not to, without email? Do not use gmail, have your emails in a local client, have backup smtps and VPNs. And fund Tor if you do business in China : this is an infrastructure you may need in such a time. Seriously, think about it : all your competitors are down for a day. How much is it worth to still be running?

David Wolf is one confused bitch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41962685)

"There appears to be a throttling under way of Web access," said David Wolf, founder of consulting firm Wolf Group Asia.

So this little piece of booger is telling people not to do business with China...But his company appears to be trying to profit from "Asia".
So Dave, which is it? Are you about to shut down your business?

Google Decided to Leave China (1)

cpaglee (665238) | about 2 years ago | (#41964445)

Google's predicament in China is entirely self created. Google elected to leave China in response to a hack attack perpetrated / tolerated by the Chinese government. Mr. Brin played a large part in the decision largely based on his experience growing up in Russia. China != Russia. Google made a huge mistake leaving China. Google used to own half of the market, now they own a fraction. Eventually Google will make a good business decision and return to China, but until then those of us living in China will just have to deal with Google's infantile hubris.

The way to affect change is to be active in the community. With Google out of China the Chinese government has no use for them. For the most part Chinese people do not care one iota about Google. As a businessman doing business in China I can tell you emphatically I do not care about Google or their market share in China. Google is a Harvard Business School textbook case of what NOT to do in China. And David Wolf's statement that if work on the Great Firewall continues China "will be an increasingly untenable place to do business" is a joke. Google's failure in China does not affect those doing business in China.

Re:Google Decided to Leave China (1)

Stuntmonkey (557875) | about 2 years ago | (#41971689)

No, Google made a purely rational decision to leave China. Most importantly it has become clear the Chinese government wants local companies to dominate the internet there. As a result not a single non-Chinese internet company has succeeded in China. When a powerful government wants you to lose, there is no point in playing the game. Consequently we've seen Google, Yahoo, EBay, Bing, Facebook, Twitter all essentially cede the market.
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