Tensions between Google and the Chinese government have been growing slowly this year. Due to the renewal of Google’s ICP (Internet Content Provider) license in China, was in-doubt. Although the license is valid till 2012, it needs to be renewed every year. Despite all the problems, Eric Schmidt the CEO of Google Inc. seemed to be pretty confident of the renewal. Thankfully it was officially announced recently on 9th July 2010, that the government had approved the license application and renewed it. Some sources have also claimed that the application was filed later than the due date by Google. Others although speak otherwise. Whatever the case was, this step taken by Chinese government is considered to be a cooling action towards the friction building up between both of them.
China is the biggest Internet Market in the world. With over 400 million users, no stakeholder in their right mind would afford to loose their place in it. In January this year (2010), Google declared that it will redirect all its google.cn users to its uncensored website in Hong-Kong (google.com.hk). The decision was not only made due to the censorship rules but also because of the supposed hacking of Gmail accounts. By March they put their decision into action and redirecting all google.cn users to google.com.hk, a search engine in simplified Chinese. This move was not acceptable by the Chinese government and they warned Google about the license renewal, which became due in between, if they continued with this inappropriate behavior. Google took this warning seriously by reinstating the original google.cn with an added link to google.com.hk, while providing the same products and censored search results on google.cn, that were offered earlier. Although people could use the uncensored Hong-Kong website instead by simply typing “hk” instead of “cn”, but most would prefer using the local search giant Baidu instead. Which would result in a big loss for Google.
Google Back in Operation
Now that Google is back in operation, it should focus more on making a considerable place in Chinese Internet Market, rather than creating more issues. Especially with such a tough competitor, Baidu Inc or simply Baidu, it should put all that’s worth into this competition. Baidu is a Chinese and Japanese collaborated search engine that offers 57 search and community services. Baidu covers almost 60 percent of the market in China. While Google covers only 30 percent, which obviously is a tough competition. Google although is a search giant mainly in U.S and in many other countries of the world, it still needs to set a grip in China. Another challenge that Google is most probable to face in upcoming months is the application of Google services in Chinese mobile phones. Motorola has recently replaced Google applications in its mobile phones with that of Baidu’s.
With such a tough competition, Google should let go of all its grudges and try to cope up with the Chinese Government and their rules and regulations.