Google may launch China search, supervision ‘a challenge’

By Ma Jingjing and Cao Siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2018/8/2 21:53:40

There is a possibility that Google can re-enter the Chinese market with what is reported to be a "censored version of the search engine," but it will be a huge challenge for Chinese regulators due to the lack of a relevant supervision mechanism, said an analyst.

The comment came after media reports that Google plans a censored version of its search engine for China that blocks certain search terms.

Google had no comment on the speculation on Thursday.

"We provide a number of mobile apps in China, such as Google Translate and Files Go, help Chinese developers, and have made significant investments in Chinese companies like JD.com."

"But we don't comment on speculation about future plans," the company told the Global Times.

Google may re-launch its censored search engine in China, but the key differentiation lies with what powerful local partnership it may establish, and how influential and experienced the partner, or joint venture, is at managing compliance, Chris Dong, global research director at technology advisory firm IDC China, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The current China-US trade dispute deepens the complexity for this to move forward, Dong said. "China has long been committed to further reform and opening-up, but it is not clear how related policy and governance will be changed in the information service domain after both sides return to the negotiating table," he noted.

From the competitiveness point of view, Google's censored search engine may challenge Microsoft's Bing Search to some extent in China, Dong said.
However, Baidu may feel much less pain, as it has built a substantial application ecosystem and user base that caters well to Chinese residents with down-to-earth usability.

Google will have to base more of its ecosystem applications in China, but each of those may prove to be a challenge in itself.

Chinese search engine giant Baidu's stock price dropped 7.73 percent to $228.07 on Wednesday (US time).

"At this stage, how to strike a balance between convenience and business and national security is a problem. But with the improvement in laws and technological advancement, foreign internet companies will get access to the big Chinese market," Bai Ming, deputy director of the International Market Research Institute under the Ministry of Commerce told the Global Times on Thursday.

"We should be cautious in opening up the internet sector, which should be carried out step by step," he said.



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