Google is looking to China for revenue growth, with CEO Eric Schmidt telling Beijing reporters that the company expects regional profit "will obviously be large." But those coffers are filled at a price. Google is one of several prominent US Internet companies under fire for collaborating with Chinese authorities to censor content and police subscribers instead of hewing to American values.~
Schmidt described the company`s participation as the lesser of two evils and said critics weren`t looking at the big picture. "We simply don`t have a choice but to follow the law. We must comply with the local law; indeed we have all made a commitment to the government that we will absolutely follow the Chinese law. We don`t have any alternatives.
It is not an option for us to broadly make information available that is illegal, inappropriate or immoral or what have you."~
But he declined to address pointed questions about how Google would react if Chinese authorities requested information on specific Internet users. Top rival Yahoo! enraged international rights groups by collaborating in the arrest and imprisonment of two mainland customers. "I`d rather not answer a hypothetical question," Schmidt demurred. ~
The search giant said more than 100 software engineers will likely flock to its new mainland R&D centre by the summer. "You have an enormous number of computer science and smart people here who are Chinese and want to stay in China. But there are relatively few companies that are trying to build worldwide R&D centres here, so we have been able to attract the top people." ~
Further mainland plays are currently on hold pending regulatory approval and new operating licenses, Schmidt said. Earlier this year, rivals accused Google of illegally operating without an Internet content provider license. The search engine pointed to a regional alliance similar to those enjoyed by other US companies. ~
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