"Google launches Chinese holiday travel map amid row - Posted: 02 February 2010 1439 hrs CNA
BEIJING: Google has launched a map search service in China for travellers taking trips during the Lunar New Year holiday season, despite a row over cyberattacks and censorship.
'The service is available online now,' a spokeswoman for Google China, Marsha Wang, told AFP on Tuesday.
The Google Spring Festival Map is based on the company's regular map service but has 'more features' targeting users' special needs during this month's holiday, the busiest travel period of the year in China, she said."
I commented on the 'row' between Google and the Chinese government recently. I also read about the 2 young co-founders who are believers in 'freedom of speech' in the USA mode. I respect that. At the same time, I also know that Google as a commercial enterprise will have to accept the rules of the games in the country it plies its trade! Same with Baidu wanting to operate in the USA. This development validated my observation and I gave credit to Google to recognize this reality.
The fact is the situation in China is not as bad as the South Africa of old!
Lessons for me are:
1. be respectful of the host nation's custom and culture and seek to understand then to be understood (quoting from Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, if I may!);
2. unless the fundamental values and behaviors are SO different and offensive that you MUST respond firmly and stood by your core values, there is always room for tolerance and private discussion and sharing of views;
3. be courageous to speak up, and test water if you must, while also have the grace to back down and focus on staying engaged and seek another opportunity at another time to make the push again. It is not being cunning or insincere but just being focused on the long term objective.
May Google thrive in China and may it eventually influence more 'freedom of speech' in its quiet way. In China, there is no need for USA style bravado and gung ho 'shouting'!! ;-)