From the search engine that started it all, to Gmail and Gchat, there are a thousand reasons to love Google.
Now, we can add one more reason to the list.
The Internet giant threatened to pull out of China this week, citing censorship requirements and allegations that government-hired hackers broke into the accounts of suspected dissidents
Make that a thousand-and-one reasons to love Google.
When Google began its China operations, the company incited the wrath of human rights activists around the world by giving into to the government's strict censorship requirements. At the time, company executives argued that giving the Chinese people better access to some information beat no information at all. Doing business in China would not, Google execs assured, violate the company's famous informal motto, "don't be evil."
However, the game changed dramatically when hackers - supposedly bankrolled by the regime - accessed the private Google accounts of a number of Chinese users in kind of "digital espionage."
Within days of uncovering the breach, Google ceased censoring its search results and threatened to pack up its operations and leave the country all together.
I applaud Google.
While it's the not most popular search engine in China (that honor belongs to the government-sanctioned tool known as Baidu), Google stands to rake in around $600 million this year in China. Furthermore, the company could lose out on billions more in the long run if it pulls out of China.
With all that at stake, Google's brave decision to stand up to this restrictive regime should be applauded.
Though experts contend the government likely won't back down in this mighty battle of wills, by leaving China, Google will set a precedence throughout the tech world and burn a new path in the way business can help foster human rights not just in Asia, but worldwide.