Report: Google China Prepared For Big Push

    September 11, 2009

It may be that the exit of Kai-Fu Lee won’t act so much as a stumbling block as a catalyst for Google China.  A new report indicates that, following his departure, Google China will double its sales staff and offer cash incentives to 100,000 would-be advertisers.

Figures related to the employees remain unknown.  Otherwise, Zhu Shenshen wrote in a Shanghai Daily article, "Under the 50 million yuan incentive program, Google will provide 500 yuan to every new registered customer of Adwards [sic], its popular online search advertising tool."

Those amounts convert to about $7.3 million and $73, respectively, in case you were wondering.

Google seems to be quite serious about getting Chinese advertisers to embrace its AdWords program, then.  While the company’s not giving away tons of cash in the grand scheme of things (Google’s current market cap: $149.5 billion), the fact that it would offer so much money to so many advertisers is undeniably significant.

Looking ahead, it’s easy to guess that Google feels the 100,000 advertisers might represent a sort of tipping point, too, after which others will glob on in an attempt to catch up.

We (along, no doubt, with many analysts and Baidu executives) will keep an eye on the initiative to see how things progress.