It seems that Google’s problems in China are far from over; in fact, they may just be getting worse. The Chinese government is constantly working on tightening internal security and in recent works; it has draped an even darker cloud on internet communications as part of this broad campaign. This seems to have made the situation difficult for Google along with its customers because doing business is even more complicated. Placing Google ads is a struggle for Chinese exporters for appealing to overseas buyers. A costly microscope couldn’t be recalibrated by biotechnology researchers in Beijing as they couldn’t find online instructions for this task.
Similarly, international companies have had trouble in in exchanging Gmail messages in offices located in far-away locations and have also found in difficult to use applications such as Google calendar. According to people working in China, these restrictions can prove to be immensely frustrating and can actually drain productivity. This is due to the fact that rather than focusing on getting their work done, people have to worry about how to send a file. This issue has become widespread. This summer, two popular messaging services, Kakao Talk and Line, which are owned by South Korean companies were blocked, along with other applications including Talk Box, Didi and Vower.
The great Firewall of China has been censoring Facebook and Twitter for quite a long time. This is basically a system of filters that’s used by the Chinese government for keeping control of the internet traffic in and out of the country. Even as Google and other companies have lobbied for some leniency in the restrictions, the scrutiny of multinational seems to have been tightened even more. Microsoft offices were raided by antimonopoly investigators in July in four cities in China for interrogating managers and copying huge amounts of data from the hard drive.
A separate monopoly investigation is being conducted against the renowned maker of computer chips and holder of patents concerning wireless technology, Qualcomm. Combined with other problems such as the extreme air pollution in the Chinese urban centers and the extreme blocking of the web, a lot of businesses have chosen to transfer their employees to hubs that have speedier and open internet, including Singapore. Similar moves are being considered by other companies as well. When there was a boon in the economy, internet problems were overlooked by the companies.
However, now, there are lots of companies that are second guessing their decision to stay and operate in China. It was mentioned by a chief technology officer of a start-up based in China that employees found in very difficult to share documents and files because they couldn’t use Google Drive properly. The initial public offering of Alibaba proved China’s success in producing profitable web businesses, but it has been said by lots of researchers and executives that various local internet services are poor alternatives of offerings of multinational companies.
For instance, Baidu, the local search engine, is unable to provide access to the latest information to people.