Round two kicks off as Google plans to re-enter Chinese market
Search engine Google has renewed its efforts to enter China, with reports the company is reopening its offices in the Asian country.
And while the news may come as a surprise to industry commentators, it seems that the company has been looking at ways to improve its working relations with authorities in the region for some time.
News publication the Wall Street Journal reports that the internet company is softening its approach toward China, after the search engine made the decision to move its operations out of the country amid confrontations with authorities over censorship claims.
The paper said: "The search engine is hiring more engineers, salespeople and product managers in China and working to introduce new services for Chinese consumers, according to Daniel Alegre, Google's top executive in China."
Describing the decision as a "pragmatic" one, it would appear that both Mr Alegre and his employer feel that the market opportunities in the region are simply too numerous to ignore.
According to the WSJ the company is "aiming to capitalise on its fast-growing Android operating system for mobile devices, online-advertising and product-search services to grow in China."
In 2010, David Drummond, SVP, corporate development and chief legal officer, said the company needed to review its approach toward one of the world's largest internet markets.
"The decision to review our business operations in China has been incredibly hard, and we know that it will have potentially far-reaching consequences," he wrote.
Mr Drummond said Google is looking to pursue its original plan to launch an unfiltered search engine in China, but it would need to plan a way to go about this initative without upsetting local laws.
"We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all."
However, it seems that Google feels there may be opportunities to push its business in the Chinese market.
Posted by Aimee McBride