Regardless of its intentions, Google’s other undertakings in China continue to be affected by its decision concerning search. China Unicom, which is the country’s second-largest mobile operator, has decided to cut its ties with the American company.
According to Kathrin Hille and Justine Lau, Unicom’s president, Lu Yimin, made his position clear by stating, "We are willing to work with any company that abides by Chinese law . . . we don’t have any co-operation with Google currently."
The curious thing about this development is the condition in which it may leave the Chinese company’s finances. Just yesterday, China Unicom announced its 2009 annual results, and unfortunately for it, its profits were down about 73 percent on a year-over-year basis.
Logically, then, China Unicom either has little confidence in Google’s ability to impress users, or it faced quite a lot of pressure to part ways with Google. And both of those possibilities imply that there might be further bad news for the search giant.
It should be interesting to see if China Mobile, China’s biggest mobile operator, also distances itself from Google in the days or weeks ahead. Baidu’s share of the mobile search market will bear watching, too.