"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 (Nasdaq: GOOG) is increasing its Sinitic staff by 30% this year and will keep that pace up for at least three more years. And Lee should know: He is the head honcho of the company's Chinese operations after famously leaving a similarly exalted position at Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) back in 2005.

The increased hiring rate can mean only one thing: Google wants to dethrone Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) before the Chinese middle class gets too comfy with the local alternative, and before the world's largest economy grows too rich. The G-man wants as much of that growth as possible.

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! (Nasdaq: YHOO) is outgunning Google in Japan today. While Google's future growth doesn't depend on more search queries alone, that is the company's core business and remains an important part of the earnings formula. In that field, international growth is where it's at, and there's no market bigger than China.

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.

Further Foolishness:

Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation, and Baidu.com is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Try either service free for 30 days.

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.