Google is returning back to China
It has been five years since Google announced its difficult decision to leave China in 2010. The well known reason was that Google didn't want to conform to China's censorship request on sensitive information. During these five years, many stories happened bbetween these two sides. Things may turn around now as there are a few indications where Google may return back to China at an appropriate time soon.
The most convincing indication is that a customized Google play -- Google online shop may appear on some smartphones sold in China. These smartphones will be released later this year in China. The applications on this Google online shop will conform to Chinese laws and policies. Previously, Google play is banned from China and Chinese netizens have to use the vendor specific application store to download and install Android applications.
Actually the new CEO of Google Sundar Pichai has expressed his opinion about China market during an interview with Forbes this February.
China is obviously one of the biggest markets out there. Android is powering a lot of innovation in China. That’s important to me. It would be a privilege to serve Chinese users. We obviously have had a set of issues in the past, but we also see opportunities. We have seen a lot of interest from Chinese developers on Google Play, because the extent to which Android is used. We see those as opportunities ahead. If we can figure out a model by which we can serve those users, it would be a privilege to do so.
The model which they come out seems the Google online shop. And this is what they are discussing with Chinese government. It is said that Google will try to bring back other Google service as well if this movement goes well. Google is even willing to follow Chinese laws to censor the search results.
Another indication is that recently Google created its own parent company named Alphabet which they claimed would make Google to explore possibilities and unknowns to bring better products to people. Although this is not directly related to the plan to return back to China, many believe this may help Google returns back to China with another identity and it provides a better opportunity for them to negotiate with Chinese government again. The new CEO Sundar Pichai is also willing to cooperate with China.
Google apparently cannot afford to lose the huge Chinese market. The number of netizens there are more than the whole population of US and most of the netizens in China are young people who have more need on apps which provide different functions and have strong consumption power. Also, Android has become the dominant OS in China's smartphone market, there are huge potential if Google online shop can accumulate enough people. This may also be the reason why Google chooses Google online shop as the pioneer service to be back.
One last word. If Google really returns back to China, does it mean "Dream loses to reality"?