"Love may be blind, but Love at least
Knows what is man and what mere beast;
Or Beauty wayward, but requires
More delicacy from her squires."
-- "Down, Wanton, Down!" by Robert Greaves
Lee Kai-Fu tells Reuters that Google
The increased hiring rate can mean only one thing: Google wants to dethrone Baidu
Will that move jeopardize Google's supposedly anti-evil philosophy? It depends on how hard the company goes after the Chinese market, and how quickly. When the government in Beijing asks Google to jump, will it answer "How high?" or "Forget it"? I strongly suspect that the truth will lie closer to the second option than the first. If Google loves money, it needs to do so with a certain delicacy.
Big G may be the runaway search and advertising leader in the Americas and Europe, but still has a lot to do in places such as Russia, India, and the Far East. Heck, good ol' Yahoo!
Ideologies aside, these guys just can't afford to turn their backs on the little guy. Pandering to extreme censorship and hanging users who punch in unpopular search terms out to dry would eventually mean the end of the Chinese adventure and would also damage the company at home and globally.
The company could still take a hit in the arena of public opinion, as there always seem to be plenty of skeptics on hand whenever Google does something new. That's exactly why management won't cater to the needs of the government but will side more often with the people.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund is a Google shareholder but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure always knows where to draw a line in the sand.