David Prosser: Why Google deserves the applause
Thursday 14 January 2010
Outlook There has been a degree of cynicism about Google's threat to withdraw from China, with the company's critics pointing out how little money the search engine makes there. Of Google's $22bn revenue last year, just $210m came from China, estimates the researcher Analysys International. With Google earning less than 1 per cent of its money in China, pulling out is no great blow, you might say, especially given the credit it will earn from the gesture in many other parts of the world.
That is unfair. If Google really isn't bothered about doing business in China, why has it been prepared to take so much flak in recent years on its willingness to self-censor in the country? The company's stance on China has been the single biggest threat to its reputation as a force for good – hardly a price worth paying if this market isn't important to Google.
No, Google recognises that China, with 300 million internet users, has massive potential. It has made great strides in the country – last year's revenues may have been small in comparative terms, but they were 10 times larger than the sales Google made in 2006.
Moreover, while Baidu, China's domestic answer to Google, remains the biggest internet search player in the country, Google is catching up fast. In the first nine months of last year, Google averaged a market share of 30 per cent to Baidu's 62 per cent and is thought to have reached 35 per cent versus 58 per cent in the final quarter. The comparative figures in 2006 were 15 per cent for Google and 50 per cent for Baidu.
In these times of disenchantment with big business, assuming the worst about a company's motivations is all too tempting. But on this one, we should give Google the benefit of the doubt.
- 1 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 Is Ebola coming to Britain? UK health officials issue warning to doctors as outbreak fears grow
- 4 Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
- 5 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...
£25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Orgtel are seeking Graduate Trainee Re...
£45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: ** HR Business Partner - Senior H...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: PA / Team Secretary - Mat...