In a recent posting from the Google Blog, Google has announced that it will be adopting a new strategy in China after facing cyber-attacks in which Gmail accounts were hacked into. In mid-December, it had detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google. Google would have an easier time quitting China than other companies. Although its business there has been growing, it is estimated to be only a few percentage points of its total revenues. That's a sharp contrast to companies like General Motors Corp., for which China is a crucial market.
What's interesting is that the US government has taken a stance in this growing situation, turning it instantly into a political issue, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently pointed out China as among a number of countries where there has been “a spike in threats to the free flow of information” over the past year. She also named
Let's take a look at the the Global Search Report. The report indicates that even as far back as 2007, Google's reach into the web has not been as extensive as we think it might be. Not only did Google have only 21.7% of the market share compared to Baidu's 55% in China, it had only 24.7% compared to Seznam's 65.5% in the Czech Republic. Google didn't even rank top 3 in South Korea (Naver is number 1, with 72.7% of the market share). If we look at Google as a multinational corporation, perhaps its strategy isn't one of intellectual freedom, but one of consolidating market share. As it has no dominance in certain regions, why would it want to move into China in the first place? English isn't everything you know.