Google Play Serves as Make Up Letter from Google to China

September 18, 2015

The article titled Google’s Return to China Won’t Be Easy on VentureBeat discusses Google’s ambitions to revisit China with the help of Google Play, its Android mobile operating system app store. If you don’t remember, about five years ago Google refused to self-censor search results and pulled its services from China to boot. But Google can’t help looking longingly over its shoulder at the world’s largest Internet market. The article explains,

“Apple Inc complies with local laws and made $13.2 billion last quarter in Greater China…, making it its second-biggest market. Some in the industry doubt whether Google can use the Play store to help get its other services into China as domestic rivals are now well established and Google would have to comply with Chinese law. That would mean storing all data in China, and meeting information access and censorship requests, a thorny issue, particularly if the U.S. government gets involved.”

Obviously, China did not heed Google’s advice on reforming its approach to business and government oversight. Some argue that the focus on Google Play may make the movement toward China less threatening to Chinese regulators than their other services like search and Gmail. The article suggests the possibility that the lapse in Google’s presence in the market may be fatal to them there. The niche market has been working just fine, thank you very much, many mobile players believe. At any rate, Google’s hopes are a long shot unless they are willing to do it the Chinese way.

Chelsea Kerwin, September 18, 2015

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