Google does not create content but makes information more accessible and organised, empowering users for connectivity and collaboration. The Chinese government, on the other hand, operates under a political agenda to control and dominate content and to keep oppositional voices fragmented. Surveillance of users and enforced self-censorship of companies is part of this overall strategy. This runs in direct contradiction to Google’s corporate ethic and business agenda, which includes protecting users’ privacy and gaining their trust.
Google’s decision to leave China rather than abide by intrusive government policies effectively marks the beginning of a cyberworld divided into the internet and the “Chinternet”, with the great firewall marking the boundary. Several top global websites, including Google, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as thousands of other websites, are no longer easily accessible.
As a leading technology giant with a strong commitment to internet freedom, Google has the capacity to make its services continually available to Chinese netizens. Other technology companies and governments should join in this struggle to create a single, open and free internet. The final story is written by people like Han Han, who represent the irrepressible desire for truth, dignity and freedom. This spirit is what will ultimately topple the great firewall – with the assistance of innovative and unblockable internet technologies.