Google Lets Bygones be Bygones in China
Just two years after a public falling out with China (NYSE:FXI), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is trying to make nice. While Google’s co-founder, Sergey Brin, once likened China’s censorship to the “’totalitarianism’ of the Soviet Union,” The Wall Street Journal now reports that the company is looking to increase its workforce and expand in the country. Even Google can’t afford to miss out the world’s largest Internet market.
Daniel Alegre, Google’s top executive in Asia, told the WSJ that they are looking to introduce new services to the people of China. Specifically Alegre mentioned its Android operating system for mobile devices, online advertising and product search services. One major goal of Google is to launch its Android Market for purchasing mobile apps which is currently not available in China.
Google also said that it will try to win the favor of Chinese consumers by offering products which don’t require censorship. The company has already launched once such service called Shihui which helps people search websites for discounts at local businesses.
Google’s lag in China has been a windfall for homegrown Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) and other competitors such as Sina (NASDAQ:SINA) and Sohu (NASDAQ:SOHU). But looking super long term, there’s still plenty of money to be made when US companies finally get their sea legs in China.