The news that Google’s new cloud storage service, “Google Drive,” has been banned in China has sent shockwaves from Shanghai to Silicon Valley: CNET-Google Drive crashes into China’s Great Firewall http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57421540-93/google-drive-crashes-into-chinas-great-firewall/
Given the history between the Chinese regime and Google, I didn’t find this development particularly surprising; however, China’s ongoing blockage of major American sites made me think about this from a different perspective. A reflection not necessarily rooted in nationalism but more about protecting intellectual property.
The freedom of commerce is an idea–not a practice. You can’t buy Nazi artifacts in France. Wine can only be purchased in Canada through Government liquor stores. And you can’t get Google’s cloud storage service in China. Through its “Great Firewall,” China is protecting its entrepreneurial base to ensure they foster their own ecosystems of companies to create their own Google. This story serves to remind us in the technology world that while it may not make Americans happy, true globalization is a dream not shared by all 7 billion people on the planet.
Innovation is not simply about technology or even the business case. For a product or service to be truly innovative, it has to been seen, felt, touched or tasted by the masses and that comes from how and where you go to market. You need to choose your cloud computing path wisely – the wall in your path may be too high to climb.