Google’s already made big waves in the international arena this year by deciding to pull out of China after too many censorship demands and a cyber attack targeting human rights activitists’ email accounts. Although they’re now redirecting google.cn to google.co.hk, Google says that the situation “seems to be stable” now.
CEO Eric Schmidt spoke at the annual shareholder meeting this week. MarketWatch reports that Schmidt said their engineers and sales forces remain in place in China. However, Schmidt recognized that the status quo could always change: “should the Chinese government become upset with us,” they could always block access to the Hong Kong version of the site.
BusinessWeek reports that Google will continue to sell ads within China. However, overall, the move has hurt Google in China, it seems:
After Google said it might exit China, the company lost ground to rival Baidu Inc. Google’s share of the Internet search market in China fell to 30.9 percent in the first quarter from 35.6 percent three months earlier, according to Analysys International. Baidu’s market share rose to 64 percent from 58.4 percent, the Beijing-based researcher said.
Meanwhile, Baidu split its stock 10 to 1 this week, and saw a major surge. A few weeks ago, Baidu reported that its profits had doubled since January, when Google made the announcement that it would be leaving China.
What do you think? Will Google be able to rebound in China?