Western countries have no choice but follow what the Chinese government says

Western companies have been plagued by problems ranging from piracy to troublesome Chinese laws, but a Chinese tech market leader said it's up to U.S. companies to adhere to Chinese customs.

The CEO of Baidu, China's top search engine, believes it's up to western companies to move into the market by following Chinese laws.  Google's Q1 search market control in China dropped from 35.6 percent down to 30.9 percent, while Baidu's share increased from 58.4 percent up to 64 percent.

"The Chinese government still would like to see U.S. internet companies explore the Chinese market, providing they are willing to abide by Chinese law," said Robin Li, Baidu search engine co-founder, during a recent interview.  "I think companies like Facebook should think about the Chinese market.  If they do it right, if they have a lot of patience, they have a chance.  But time is flying.  The Internet market is growing and there is a lot of competition.  If you don' go (soon) you'll lose that window of opportunity."

Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have all had issues related to their search businesses inside China -- with the Chinese government requiring all foreign companies to adhere to a unique set of laws.  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to bring the No. 1 social networking site to China, even though it currently is a prohibited site in the country. 

Throwing in the towel and following Chinese government demands has led to increased pressure with U.S. lawmakers who remain concerned over human rights violations.

Meanwhile, Baidu may try to expand from China in Japan and focus on additional markets.  Company executives plan to generate revenue in China and use that money to fund expansion efforts in other parts of Asia and several western markets.

China has more than 1 billion people -- and at least 400 million internet users -- with a growing acceptance of technology, which makes it an important target for western companies.  It's possible two or three companies will work together to create a shared venture that helps give them a shot at the market without as much invested risk.

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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