Google Can’t Ignore China’s 800 Million Internet Users

Google CEO Sundar Pichai discussed for the first time, testing and developing a censored search engine in China at the WIRED 25 summit in San Francisco. According to a report by The Intercept, Google is re-entering the Chinese search market. With that said, Google also reports that they will offer censorship of keywords and topics that may deem sensitive by the Chinese Government, including “human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest.”

In 2010, Google revealed that the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists were targeted and hacked on numerous occasions, leaving Google with no other choice but to quit.

What Google Wrote During the Incident

“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. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down, and potentially our offices in China.”

Since then talks between Google and the Chinese officials have been going on for some time, Sundar Pichai appears to be optimistic about where this is heading as this will provide better information to Chinese users and that the company would be able to “serve well over 99 percent of queries.”

Google has quietly worked on a strategy to re-enter China, including launching or relaunching apps through third-party apps such as Xiaomi and Huawei. Why is this important? Pichai strongly believes that the Chinese tech innovations hold an important key to the market for Google which gives them a way to help better understand the Chinese users and an opportunity to tackle the old problem and with its longer-term view.

According to the China Internet Network Information Center, China has more than 800 million internet users. With those numbers, it makes it nearly impossible for public companies to resist.  Be sure to stay up to date with our daily blogs!

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