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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Google Has Business Problems, Not Political Problems

David Drummond, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer, published his new article on google blog. He said google is considering the exit from Chinese market. His excuse is that the censorship from Chinese government.

Is this true? Maybe not.

Google has been experiencing huge business presure in Chinese market due to the existence of Chinese search-engine provider Baidu.com that domintates there for long. Google tried hard to break into the fast expanding market with huge investment, but little progress has been made.

Kai-Fu Lee is an oversea Chinese, who is one of the most prominent figures in the Chinese internet sector. Google hired him when he was a corporate vice president of interactive services in microsft. This caused a 2005 legal dispute between Google and Microsoft. Dr. Lee became the founding president of Google China, serving from July, 2005 through September 4, 2009.

Dr. Lee quited his job in Google, why? Dr. Lee said he wanted to pursue his own oppertunities in China. But some thing Google really does not want to acknowledge: Business failure in China.

China has the censorship system there for long time, even before Google started its business in China. We all know that Chinese web contents are becoming more and more open or you can say that much fewer censored contents that before. The fact no one can deny is that Google tried to copperated with the system when the system was much stricter. It is rediculous for Google to speak out moral judgement openly today. Would Google have the thought of exiting from Chinese market if its business had done well there? No way!! What I can say is that Google is having business trouble in China rather than political trouble.

Google is really of such a high moral standard? Maybe, maybe not. Chinese government acused the search engine has too much pornographic contents on its Chinese web.

I just give readers of an exmple to show the difference of astonishing difference between Google's Chinese web and its English web. Both seach the key word "Perfect-G":

This comes from its English version search engine.

http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&rlz=1T4GGIH_enUS265&um=1&sa=1&q=Perfect-G&btnG=Search&aq=f&oq=&aqi=&start=0

This from its Chinese Search engine. (WARNING: 18+ pictures will show up)

http://images.google.cn/images?hl=zh-CN&source=hp&q=Perfect-G&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

You can tell that Google behaves much better in US, but not so much to Chinese users.

It is well known that in Chinese market of internt content providers, Chinese companies are doing better than those from US. I just gave you some examples:
In instant messenger service: China's QQ beats any US IM service providers.
In E-business, China Alibaba and Taobao (Actaully Alibaba owns Taobao) beats Ebay

This situation is not simply caused by political reasons. There are cultural reasons behind. Search engine market may experience political problems, but how about instant messenger service and E-commercial service? I doubt any censorship involved.

Google has to admit it is a business loser in Chinese market. No scapegoat is needed, Period!

6 Comments:

Blogger John said...

The Google search links you provide as examples are misrepresentative of the true situation. Firstly, the google.com link has safe search enabled and set to "moderate," while the google.cn link has safe search disabled. Secondly, "Perfect-G" is a term that, to the best of my knowledge, has no real meaning in American English. It does, however, seem to have a pornographic meaning in Chinese. This makes for a poor example to compare because of the different ways google.com and google.cn aggregate the results of each respective web page. Thus, google.com returns a set of images with less thematic consistency than google.cn would.

I do agree generally that, if Google does actually exit the Chinese market, business concerns would be a factor in their decision, however you are arguing your point from the wrong angle.

As an aside, you know that blogspot.com is a Google product, right?

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pefect-G is not a Chinese. It is a pure English. Another thing I have to point out: The seach result in Google Chinese web come with Safegaud is turned on. No other choice for Chinese.

11:25 PM  
Blogger John said...

My apologies about the safesearch comment. I miss-parsed the link—google.cn seems to use a different syntax for its searches than google.com.

I suppose that I should have been more clear in my comments about the term "Perfect-G." Clearly "Perfect-G" is neither 汉字, nor is it a transliteration thereof, and it is, in the strictest sense, English. The term "Perfect-G" is, however, entirely meaningless to an American speaker of English, while it seems to have a pornographic meaning to at least some Chinese people. In order to make a meaningful comparison between google.com and google.cn search results, you would need to use a term or, preferably, terms, that are meaningful to both the primary users of google.com and google.cn.

I can see from the content of the rest of your blog that you are less than obsessed with the accuracy of what you write and this post is no exception.

Good day,
John

11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get the *same* search result in English and Chinese. Are you sure it's not just *your* safe search settings that are stored with *your* English account that block pr0n for *you*?

1:08 AM  
Blogger NeelyBittle said...

朝著既定的目標走,就不會迷失。........................................

1:18 AM  
Blogger NewsChecker said...

Don't tell me Google does not filter information here.

My link was removed from Google blog.

1:43 PM  

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