Google is playing risky on the Chinese market for some time now. Though extremely big, it is preregulated, and any company that intends to succeed on it should follow very strict rules, set by the leading communistic party, and follow the sometimes not very clear logic of the business relations of entirely different culture. And though Google did their best to keep google.cn site free of problems it was almost closed by the officials, as the content censuring was removed, and now another little case may pose a threat to Google’s domination on the Chinese search market.
How it began?
Chinese online shoe selling firm – Beijing Letao Culture Development Co Ltd. is seeking to get 75000$ and public excuse by Google, as a piece of news coming from China stated this weekend. The Beijing local court will hear the case, and make a decision if it will allow further development – in case real damage to the company’s good business name exists.
It all began in early May, when Letao employee checked Google to see how Letato.com was doing in the search ranks. He was pretty surprised to see that one of the sponsored results stated “”If you want to buy sneakers, OKBuy is better than Letao”, with OKBuy being one of the biggest business rivals of Letao. Then Letao decided to start the case, and the CEO of the company stated: “We will stick up for our legal rights and fight the legal battle to the end”.
What from now on?
With the uncertain position on the Chinese market Googel tries very hard to avoid bad publicity in the country, so maybe fast and easy end will be reached – Gogole may pay, as the sum is not that big, and the problematic ads will be removed. But following the decision of this case, a change in of Google’s position for such ads may occur. Till now these were generally allowed, unless abusive language was used. But this is not good ad practice, as all the efforts of a company to build their good image and optimize search engine positions may be ruined by well placed ad on the top of the search.
Google.cn officials refused comments before final verdict is out, but analysts expect their lawyers will try to reach out of court agreement with the accuser, as the precedent of a verdict against Google will cost them more then money.