Google Applauds Chinese Talent Pool

    November 28, 2007

In America, much of Google’s success is attributed to its brilliant employees.  In China, there’s no reason that the situation would be any different, but as a bonus, the company could gain a competitive edge by hiring locals.

Google’s poor understanding of Chinese culture has been pinpointed as a reason for its failures in that country; an old Baidu commercial even portrayed Google as a Westerner with embarrassingly poor Chinese-language skills.  Hiring Chinese citizens might be an ideal way to overcome this image.

Kai-Fu Lee
Furthermore, the practice could be beneficial to Google in many other areas.  “[T]he nation has such a huge talent potential,” Kai-Fu Lee, the president of Google China, told the AP.  “I think there will undoubtedly be innovation in China.”

Innovation is exactly what Google needs – the company’s search market share is approximately one-third of Baidu’s, and has shown little improvement over the past six months.  Also, Google’s a bit weak in the mobile department, and cell phones and texting are absolutely taking off in China.

Of course, nothing’s guaranteed to work – it’s not like Google hasn’t tried to reverse its fall in China before.  Eric Schmidt has given the division a pretty long leash, however, so no heads are likely to roll in the near future.