Google internet permit in China has been extended for one more year, although the company’s tensed relationship with the Chinese government. The question is, if the ICP (Internet Content Provider) license is designated for a search comeback or just for other products like Gmail and Maps?
Tensed Relationship Over The Years
Google and China had a very nervous relationship over the years because their fundamental differences- Google was always proud to display the information on the web as it is without filters, while the Chinese regime demands censorship.
In 2005, Google begun operating in China after coming to agreement with the government about the level of censorship. In 2009 however, Google’s video site YouTube was blocked in China, alongside other social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. But the big storm only arrived about a year later.
In the beginning of 2010 Google announced that many Gmail accounts have been hacked, hinting that the Chinese government is responsible for this act. Google declared they are leaving China due to the hacking incident and the ongoing censorship and redirecting users that are trying to enter Google China to Google Hong Kong (which is uncensored).
Always Second To Baidu
Google search engine was always second to the Chinese portal Baidu. The highest market share Google ever achieved was about 35% before the crisis of 2010 and today Google holds only about 19% of the Chinese market (through Google Hong Kong) while Baidu holds about 75%. Also, its greatest rival Microsoft signed a Bing-Baidu deal to present search results in English, while Google is still on the bench…
Could Half a Billion Internet Users Be Ignored?
China has 485 million internet users, the largest internet community in the world and this number predicted to increase drastically as China become more and more industrial. On January this year, Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt, hinted that Google intend to go back to China.
Are we going to see a search comeback of Google China? Does Google plans to do the almost impossible and find a formula to allow its own social network Google+ to operate in China? Or things will just stay as they are? With two unpredictable variable like Google and China, we can only guess…