For the past year nothing has been normal as it relates to Google and China. Google continues to lose market share to the Chinese search leader Baidu and has tried to give the impression that they are fighting the good fight in the face of Chinese government censorship.
Meanwhile, Facebook is taking the exact opposite approach and appears to be ready to whatever is needed to cash in on some Chinese social media traffic but that’s another story.
The Seattle Times reports
Google may appear to be under siege in China, but a sense of normalcy — Google style — pervades the company’s headquarters here.
Googlers, when they are aren’t writing codes or working on new advertising strategies, line up for five-star meals, attend in-house yoga classes and pedal mini bicycles down hallways at the 10-floor outpost.
There have been some changes,” said Xi Cheng, an Oxford-educated Googler working on the translate team and one of scores of brainiacs that still populate the company’s ranks in Beijing and Shanghai. “But we are still here. And it’s still business as usual.
The entire article looks like Google’s attempt to show people that they are still working in China and working to remain relevant. It’s likely that with Facebook moving forward with their efforts to build a social network in China (possibly through a partner) is forcing Google’s hand to give the appearance of “me too!”.
“We never left China,” Boon-Lock Yeo, head of Google’s engineering and research teams in China, said in reference to the widely held assumption in the United States that the company had raised the white flag. “At the end of the day, engineers are excited about what they do and to what extent they are working on cool technology. That is what got us through last year. There were periods of uncertainty.”
That uncertainty still exists today but don’t let it be known that Google thinks it’s anything other than unicorns and rainbows for the company in the land of a ton of potential revenue.
Do you believe them?