We ultimately reached our decision by asking ourselves which course would most effectively further Google's mission to organize the world's information and make it universally useful and accessible. Or, put simply: how can we provide the greatest access to information to the greatest number of people?
It seems to me they did the opposite. Letting China decide which information is accessible, under the pretense of some is better than none negates whatever is "universally useful."
We aren't happy about what we had to do this week, and we hope that over time everyone in the world will come to enjoy full access to information. But how is that full access most likely to be achieved? We are convinced that the Internet, and its continued development through the efforts of companies like Google, will effectively contribute to openness and prosperity in the world.
How is bending over for dictators end the monopoly dictators have on information?
Our continued engagement with China is the best (perhaps only) way for Google to help bring the tremendous benefits of universal information access to all our users there.
Let's be honest. This is what really irks me about Google. Dude made a better case for them than they can make for themselves. They just can't bring themselves to simply say that they are a business and they're going to China because they don't want to be undercut by their competitors.
Look at that last sentence highlighted up there. They're not trying to make money. They're trying to bring tremendous benefits to users. Typical doublespeak PR nonsense masquerading as sober talk. Those tremendous benefits being the same state sanctioned information that's probably blown from speaker cars on the weekends. Google has simply signed up to be one more goosestep in the Chinese labyrinth of disinformation.
The real winner in this will be the unknown companies that learn to circumvent the Chinese blockage and actually offer the information that Chinese people want. If and when the walls do come down, those renegade companies in the mold of Kazaa and Napster will own that market, not Google.