For a company which has taken some knocks for doing business in China and thereby arguably enabling government censorship and offering support to a repressive regime, Internet titan Google does not seem to be backing away from the enormous Chinese Internet market. Hong Kong’s CDC Corporation announced yesterday that Google will power both English-language and traditional Chinese searches for Chinese Internet portal China.com Google and CDC will also cooperate on content, branding, and advertising efforts. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“China is a key area of focus for Google and we are rapidly expanding our presence and operations in this important market. We are excited about our partnership with China.com and we expect our current partnership to bring significant strategic benefits. We are also looking forward to exploring with China.com further areas where our companies cooperate,” said Johnny Chou, Google’s President of Sales and Business Development for Greater China in a statement.
“China.com firmly believes that this partnership between the world’s premier search company and one of China’s leading portals with over 5 million daily users is a perfect fit,” said Dr. Xiaowei Chen, China.com’s Executive Director and CFO. “By harnessing Google’s innovative technology to China.com’s deep understanding of the China market, we can rapidly expand the user base and generate new revenue opportunities for both companies.”
By acting as a service provider to a Chinese company, Google may be looking to shield itself from accusations of supporting censorship and suppressing free speech in China. While operating its own enterprises in China, Google must directly implement policies and procedures which comply with Chinese law, and submit to demands of Chinese authorities, conversely, by forging a deal with China.com, Google doesn’t assume direct responsibility for service policies and cooperation with the Chinese government.
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