Search outfit Google, which claims to have done no evil, is facing Chinese hunger strikers. According to IT World, these are advertising resellers who are protesting that Google has terminated their contracts.
More than 200 employees from the seven Chinese ad reselling companies began protesting outside Google's offices in Shanghai. More than 40 of those participating have gone on a hunger strike that will last until the group's grievances are resolved.
Google told the seven ad resellers that it would be ending the partnerships in September, but refused to say why. The group has even written an open letter to Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, asking them for their intervention. All the companies depended on Google to be viable and no one really knows why the search engine has suddenly pulled the plug.
The hungry ad resellers want Google to say sorry and pay $7 million in compensation. Google on the other had has told them to go forth and multiply. It says that it has done nothing illegal and was acting in terms of its contract. It apparently never tells partners why it has to end contracts. However it did say that it was hoping to find new resellers to partner with so we can provide a “better service to our advertisers.”
Google is not having a good time behind the bamboo curtain. In March, the company started to stop censoring its search results in the country. Now the Google.cn site no longer operates as a search engine, but instead provides a link to Google's Hong Kong page, which offers unfiltered results.
What appears to have happened is the move to Hong Kong made it difficult for the Chinese resellers to flog enough adverts. However it is a bit of bad PR for Google. Starving people is always bad PR.