Wok is going on with Google? First it gets all steamed up and deep fries its contacts with China after the country hacks into its servers, and now a couple of years later it is all hungry for more Chinese market share.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is hiring more engineers, salespeople and product managers to cook up new items for Chinese consumers.
Daniel Alegre, Google’s top executive in Asia said that Google’s fast-growing Android operating system is the key to getting back behind the bamboo curtain.
Business has been flat as a pancake since Google tried to duck the censor. Sergey Brin said China’s efforts to censor the web and suppress dissidents reminded him of the ‘totalitarianism’ of the Soviet Union, where he was born.
But Alegre now seems to be saying that was all wong. The cunning plan is to serve up the Android market which is currently banned in China .
It is also trying to entice Chinese consumers with services that don’t require official censorship, such as Shihui gives discounts at local stores and never mentions the Chinese soldiers shooting students in the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
Company co-founder Sergey Brin said at the time of the clash that he pushed for the company to take an anti-censorship stance over the will of then-Chief Executive Eric Schmidt.
Brin’s view has been sidelined. The outfit seems keen to point out that Google never abandoned the country. True, it has 700 employees less in China since 2009 but Android is giving it more opportunities.
With Android’s growth and more Chinese companies looking to advertise online, Google’s decision to reverse course and invest more in China is a “pragmatic” one, said Mr. Alegre.