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Google could use Scholar to re-enter Chinese market

Why it matters to you

Google's global reach may be set to re-enter one of the biggest global markets. Other companies may have a strong response.

Google may be set to re-enter the Chinese market with some of its services, following news from a Chinese lawmaker that Google Scholar could be allowed through the county’s mainstream firewall. This could well act as a foot in the door for the company, as there is some suggestion that if this implementation goes well, other Google services could also be allowed to operate in the country again.

China’s relationship with Google has always been a rocky one. Following years of enforced censorship and a hacking attack which Google claimed originated from China, the search giant pulled many of its services from the country in 2010. Many of its other products like Gmail and Google Maps are also blocked by Chinese internet filters.

That may be all about to change though, if South China Morning Post’s quotes from former head of Chinese censorship, Liu Binje, turn out to be true. The quotations indicated that Chinese academics could be given access to Google Scholar, which allows for easy searching of academic papers and research.

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It has been said that this was prompted by China’s desire to boost the global rankings of its universities (thanks Mashable), though this move could also be an effort to continue offering a counterpoint to political movements in the U.S.. China has been generating a lot of populist headlines since President Trump’s election.

However, this latest move may not be as reactionary as it may seem. Talks between the Chinese ruling party and Google are said to have been ongoing for several years now and rumors in February of this year suggested the Play Store may be making a limited return to Chinese markets.

Regardless of the reasoning though, it does seem like Google is set to begin making inroads into China, which will be a massive market for it to compete in, offering a huge potential revenue stream for the company.