The PoV where this does become bad is where we might see an influence in other markets seeing this capitulation by Google and then also requiring censorship in their terms. And not necessarily the Irans or NKs of the world, but the likes of India, Brazil, etc. who might see value in requiring some censorship.
They've systematically watered down and walked back from all the things they said they would adhere to in their IPO prospectus:
Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. We believe that the most effective, and ultimately the most profitable, way to accomplish our mission is to put the needs of our users first. We have found that offering a high-quality user experience leads to increased traffic and strong word-of-mouth promotion. Our dedication to putting users first is reflected in three key commitments we have made to our users:
• We will do our best to provide the most relevant and useful search results possible, independent of financial incentives. Our search results will be objective and we will not accept payment for inclusion or ranking in them.
• We will do our best to provide the most relevant and useful advertising. Whenever someone pays for something, we will make it clear to our users. Advertisements should not be an annoying interruption.
• We will never stop working to improve our user experience, our search technology and other important areas of information organization.
Google made 8 billion in profit last quarter. To claim that they've plateau'd in their growth is ridiculous. Apple and Microsoft have been in China for some time and it would be foolish for Google, from a business perspective, to not do business in one the biggest markets in the world.
They earned 6 billion more in Q2 2018 than they did in Q2 2017. Like I said, to suggest they've plateaued while sticking to their values is ridiculous.
Alphabet reported revenue of $26.24 billion after accounting for traffic-acquisition costs, up from $20.91 billion in the second quarter of 2017 and higher than the average analyst estimate of $25.58 billion.
It has already successfully pressured US airlines to do this.