This one of Google’s 10 guiding principles. It echos what the Google’s co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, wrote ina manifesto they distributed before the company took its stock public in 2004, “We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served – as shareholders and in all other ways – by a company that does good things for the world”.
While there are business reasons for pulling out of China (i.e. compromising the security of worldwide services because of inappropriate manipulations by the Chinese state security), the move speaks more to the company’s belief in acting with integrity by standing up for human rights and speaking out against censorship. According to Gartner analyst Whit Andrews,”Being righteous is in their DNA”.
It’s clear that the four Wall Street bankers that faced the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission yesterday don’t share Google’s genetic code. “Mr. Blankfein (of Goldman Sachs) himself never admitted that there was any responsibility for Goldman Sachs to make sure the products themselves were good products,” said Phil Angelides, chairman of the Commission.
Integrity has an ROI. By taking a stand in China, Google could very well increase its value among Internet users who are opposed to the Chinese government’s policies.
Do the right thing – it’s good for your business and it’s good for you too.