A Google spokesperson tells WebProNews, “Our position on China remains unchanged.”
That’s just in case there was any confusion from the Wall Street Journal report “Google Softens Tone on China”.
It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since Google threatened to pull out of China, before ultimately redirecting Google.cn to its Hong Kong site. Google assures us the redirect will remain in place.
It’s not as if Google has completely abandoned China. The company reportedly has over 500 employees there (though it was closer to 700 before Google pulled search out). According to the Wall Street Journal now, however, Google is looking to ramp up its presence in the country, focusing on products that don’t bring censorship from the Chinese government – especially Android. The report says Google is hiring more engineers, salespeople and product managers in the country.
The publication interviewed Google’s top exec in Asia, Daniel Alegre, who reportedly says one of the company’s goals is to introduce the Android Market to the Chinese market, in addition to beefing up its product search service.
Google has been pretty up front about the need to remain in China since pulling the search engine out of the country. Alan Eustace, Google’s SVP of Engineering Research called China the “heart” of the future of the Internet in late 2010.
It does appear that Google considers China to be an incredibly important market, and the search censorship issue is an unfortunate obstacle, particularly as Google integrates its products with one another. The more Google expands in China, the greater this problem could become.