Google’s Brin Calls China Censorship A “Net Negative”

China censorship damaged us, Google founders admit at The Guardian has a quote from one of Google’s founders, Sergey Brin, when asked about Google censoring content in China, “On a business level, that decision to censor… was a net negative.”

This is reportedly the strongest regret remark made by Google on their dealings in China. expands with more quotes from Brin, where he clarifies, that he felt oppression while in the Soviet Union and would “never have wanted to compromise in that direction.” Brin was arguing that some information is better than no information.

Philipp Lenssen also has good commentary on these statements.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Critics | Google: Outside US | Legal: Censorship


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.

    What is not clear is if they are saying it was better to not do any business in China – unless complete search freedom was given.

    Sometimes, it is better to initially compromise to get into the door – then negotiate little by little.

  • dangerlarson

    It’s good that they feel regret – they should listen to that “still small voice” within telling them that they dropped the ball. Perhaps not agreeing to comprimise may have set them back a bit in the Chinese markets, but you can’t stop ideas. They’re like air… or poison gas as the Chinese government may have one believe.

    Sure it’s easy for me to say “stick to your guns” and forget the money, but I think Google founders know that the overall impact of the Internet on the future of this planet and Google’s role in shaping it will be far more important in the long run than profits.

    Regardless of where one believes they go when they die, you don’t take it with you :)

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide