Google wants growth a year after fight with China

This time last year, Google and the Chinese government were at odds after hackers accessed Google servers and hacked user emails accounts.

The confrontation saw Google threaten to uncensor its search results and reroute Chinese searchers to sites where search results were not censored. Google ultimately threatened to pull out of China, but in the end, it backed down and made amends with the Chinese government.

Google is now gearing up for a big push into the Chinese market. Reuters reports that Google is going to add new sales staff to its offices in China and will start targeting businesses that it wants to advertise on its web pages. Apparently Chinese web surfers are used to pages with lots of display ads, and the display ad market in the country does well.

Google Sales VP John Liu told Reuters in an email, "Display advertising is a big focus for Google globally and particularly in China, where it's already a big industry."

Google has a long way to go to grow its share of the Chinese market, which is currently dominated by Baidu. Darwin Marketing CEO T.R. Harrington said, "Do I think they can do it? Yes, the market is still growing very fast, a small piece of the big pie is still a big piece."

Google's search ads reportedly already account for half the revenue it makes in China. Google will also reportedly focus on small and medium Chinese businesses in its attempts to lure advertisers. A Google spokesman said, "We have many new export products being rolled out which will be more helpful for the local SMEs."

The real question is will Google get back to where it was before the trouble last year. Analyst Li Zhi doesn’t think so. He concluded, "Google's China market share won't return to the level seen before the incident, even though their revenue in China is increasing, the rate is much slower."

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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