Google’s new approach to China
|Hard Decision: David Drummond on China.
Photo: Charles Barry
David C. Drummond ’85, the chief legal officer for Google, saw his name dominate his company’s search results in January—and found his name on the front page of newspapers across the nation. On Jan. 12, Drummond posted a statement at the official Google blog whose understated title—“A New Approach to China”—did not give away the coming bombshell: Owing to cyberattacks originating in China that targeted Google and more than 30 other businesses, as well as the Gmail accounts of dozens of human rights activists, Google would no longer censor search results at google.cn and was considering pulling out of the country. “These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered—combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web—have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China,” Drummond wrote.
Outside China, reactions were swift. The White House described the breach as “troubling.” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed “serious concerns” and said “we look to the Chinese government for an explanation.” Journalist and China watcher James Fallows wrote that “if a major U.S. company—indeed, Google has been ranked the #1 brand in the world—has concluded that, in effect, it must break diplomatic relations with China because its policies are too repressive and intrusive to make peace with, that is a significant judgment.”
Inside China, the announcement received scant coverage from state or independent media. After a day of silence, China’s Foreign Ministry simply stated that foreign Internet companies must operate “in accordance with the law” and insisted that “China’s Internet is open.”
In addition to holding a degree from SCU, Drummond serves on the University’s Board of Trustees. In his Jan. 12 post, Drummond wrote that Google’s decision to review its operations in China was “incredibly hard” and “will have potentially far-reaching consequences”—not least the prospect of losing the largest Internet audience in the world, some 350 million strong.
“We were looking at an environment that is more difficult than it was when we started. Far from our presence helping to open things up, it seems that things are getting tighter for open expression and freedom,” Drummond told The New York Times.
|Cosmo’s Oregon bachelor: Michael Neilson
Photo: Jeffrey Neilson
Michael Neilson ’07 was surprised to find out this fall that he’d been declared one of Cosmopolitan magazine’s “Hottest Bachelors of 2009.” Why surprised? He was nominated in secret by a friend. The award-winning sculptor lives in Portland, Ore., where he also runs a fabric arts business and does fitness videos and modeling. At first, Neilson wasn’t entirely on board with his new, tantalizing status, but he remained good-humored—and came to realize that the contest wasn’t all frivolous. “It’s actually a pretty good group of guys,” Neilson said of his co-winners. “They are all really multitalented and mostly nice.” Since making the cut, along with 50 other single, sexy men across the country, Neilson has made appearances on The Today Show, Entertainment Tonight, and local television. That exposure has led to at least one TV-arranged date and dozens of e-mails from eligible women. But the 25-year-old seems to take all the resulting attention in stride, saying, “I don’t know what all this is doing for me really. I just keep putting my foot forward and I stay optimistic.” Since earning a degree in studio art at SCU, he’s been focused on his craft. He writes, “My intention as an artist is to explore the geometric curves in life and stretch beyond perceived limitations into a more beautiful and peaceful world.” You can see his work on campus in the Adobe Lodge.
Pat Gelsinger ’83 has joined EMC, a leading developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions, as president and chief operating officer for EMC Information Infrastructure Products. Gelsinger, 48, is responsible for the company’s product portfolio, including its Information Storage, RSA Information Security, Content Management and Archiving, and Ionix IT Management divisions. Previously, Gelsinger worked at Intel, “the ultimate executive proving ground,” he said, where he earned several pivotal leading roles in the corporation’s Digital Enterprise Group, Intel Labs, Corporate Technology Group, Intel Research, Desktop Products Group, and other divisions. The award-winner holds six patents in the areas of VLSI design, computer architecture, and communications.
Kimberly Briggs J.D. ’87 and Paul Delucchi J.D. ’95 were both appointed by Gov. Schwarzenegger as Superior Court judges in Alameda County this past September. Briggs, a Democrat, formerly served as an Alameda County deputy district attorney and, since 1995, as a U.S. attorney. Since 1996, Delucchi, a Republican, had served as an Alameda County deputy district attorney.
Tom Eichenberg ’76, M.S. ’77 made the pages of the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! in 2009. What landed him amid the likes of skydiving Scrabble players, incredible icebergs, and crazy creatures? The recovery 33 years later of the wallet he lost on campus as an undergrad in 1975. Vigilant construction workers renovating the Benson Center found it. Read a profile of Eichenberg in the Fall 2008 SCM.
Jay Leupp ’85 made the pages of Barron’s magazine in December with some good news: While the U.S. real estate market is a shadow of its former self, not so in China. Leupp is chief fund manager at Grubb & Ellis Alesco Global Advisors. Due to China’s massive stimulus package, tremendous bank-lending growth, and a hot stock market, real estate is booming. Since 2007, Leupp has rolled out three real estate–related mutual funds, all beating their benchmarks. Despite some governmental worries—reductions of loan availability for second and third homes and unaffordable housing prices for many citizens—Leupp remains optimistic. From his small firm’s base in San Mateo, he explains, “The important thing to know about China is that it has consistent and increasing demand. In Hong Kong, there are geographical land constraints, and on the mainland, local government bodies have strict control over development and control land leases.” Read the entire article at Barron’s Magazine here.