Google's new CEO won't change stance on China

Page replacing Schmidt won't bring about a change in how Google handles China

Google's stance on doing business in China isn't going to change because Larry Page has replaced Eric Schmidt as the company's CEO.

That's the word coming from John Liu, Google's vice president for sales and operations in greater China.

Speaking at a business forum in Beijing, Liu said, "I don't see there's any change," when asked how the new company leadership could affect Google in China, according to a report from MarketWatch.

Liu added that he is "very optimistic" about future business growth in China, the site reported.

Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group, said it's smart for Google to stay the course with its policy on doing business in China.

"I don't see this as a surprise as I believe that Page and [co-founder Sergey] Brin were deeply involved in crafting Google's China policy all along," he added. "I also think their stance is the correct one. They can't allow a country, no matter how lucrative the opportunity, to dictate how they run their business. And when that country actually tries to harm your business via state-sponsored hacking? That's a pretty big leap over the line in my mind."

Early last year, Google decided to go toe-to-toe with one of the world's most powerful countries. Google first threatened to halt its operations in China after disclosing in January 2010 that an attack on its network from inside China was aimed at exposing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. At the time, Google also said it was reconsidering its willingness to censor search results of users in China as required by the government.

However, there was some speculation after Page became CEO that the company might make a move to improve relations with China in order to regain lost momentum in that massive market.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

Read more about internet search in Computerworld's Internet Search Topic Center.

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Sharon Gaudin

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