An Open Letter to Google Founders— to save Google in China and save Internet in China

11 02 2007

Isaac Mao, a Shanghai-based blogger, has written a bold and very important open letter to Google, specifically to Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, advising them “to save Google in China and save the Internet in China.” He says he is writing “on behalf of many Internet users in China to have some suggestions in order to resolve the current dilemma for Google in China, from both a business and social perspective.”

An Open Letter to Google Founders— to save Google in China and save Internet in China

Dear Larry and Sergey,

I’m writing you the short letter on behalf of many Internet users in China to have some suggestions to resolve the current dilemma for Google in China, from both business and social perspectives.

During the National Day holiday week in 2002, when Google.com was blocked in China for the first time, Chinese Google users made an online protest spontaneously. They appealed to free the purer search engine wave by wave. Its seemed its also the first time grassroots power was demonstrated in China on Internet. You can imagine how eager they are to have a complete Internet instead of a shrinked one. At last, people won, Google backed. However, after 4 years, we started to question whether we should continue to support Google. Many users here were disappointed when they found Google.cn filtered many keywords. The compromise remarks by you in Davos made us more frustrated. Seems you are adopting self-censorship which hurts those loyal users a lot which also devalue your motto of “non-evil”.

Google is ever regarded not only a leading Internet business, but a hope for many people around the world to open their thinking. Many bloggers in China still believes that in their everyday writings. We guess you were misled by incomplete information on how censorship is good to Chinese people. The fact is Google in the 130M-Internet-Users country is losing loyal users with loosing your principles. We understand its tough to anyone to make decisions. But it high time to change it back to the right track. Here we would like to propose 3 ideas to Google for its China strategy in a long term run, to survive, and live better:

1. Set up a 1B US$ corporate venture fund to invest in China’s Internet pioneer sites and cutting edge companies. The venture fund can be managed by experienced fund managers and industry gurus who really understand the value of Google, as well market potential of China. In my estimation, a venture fund with such a size can invest over 100 deals totally cover 60% of Internet traffic in China. With venture fund strategy, Google can play its manageable chaotic game in a capital way.

2. Develop anti-censorship tools and service for global Internet users. In China as well some other coutries, censorship is still a tradition in culture. We are accustomed to control or to be controlled(It’s true!). But it’s too far from modern humanity and universal value. It won’t target China only, instead its a global issue to be solved. So it won’t cause Google’s operation in China into trouble. The budget to complete the mission will be not more than several millions dollars.

3. Increase the incentive to Chinese Google Adsense users. This can dramatically encourage more Internet users to participate Google’s business ecosystem. It’s a pure business strategy to increase loyalty as same important to Google’s products in China. Anyway the tactic should be deployed with better localized customer service to respect to individual users and protect their less to hundred-dollar income.

Google is not alone. There are still several millions Google fans in China, especially those bloggers who are more real time intelligent to outside world. If Google do good as they did in early days. There will be more supporters for sure. Google is not playing a game of itself. You may under-estimate that before with limited information sources. People here are looking forward that you can pick the three suggestions(or partly) as China strategy in the coming years which can keep Google’s “non-evil” motto alive in people’s mind. It will also benefit to Google’s business in China. It will be also benefit to the whole Internet neutrality in China. All the Internet users will appreciate that eventually.

All of all, the pure the better; the more compromise, the worse.
Best Regards

Isaac Mao

2007/2

Original article can be found here Isaac Mao’s Blog

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