The Coming Apple-Google War in China

July 14, 2010

No wonder Google backed down on their threats to pull out of China.  There’s much money to be made from China’s growing middle class, but Google’s headaches are not over yet thanks to Apple.

The China Tracker, Paul Denlinger, reports that Apple has opened its second store in China’s Shanghai Pudong district, and it features the world’s largest pieces of curved glass. In addition, Apple plans to open 25 more stores in China by the end of 2011 where computers, iPhones, iPods, and iPads will be sold.

Why does this mean war between Google and Apple? Because Google is selling its Android platform (mobile phones, etc) to the Chinese consumer, but Apple and other competitors have a sweater deal. You’ll need to read Denlinger to learn the details.

Apple’s edge comes from having most of its products assembled in China and a deal with China Unicom to buy its products so Apple has no risk since there is a no return policy. The risk belongs to Unicom.

In fact, Google’s decision to confront China’s government over censorship was not a good idea since it has tainted Google’s image in China while increasing it in the West where the Chinese consumer does not shop. Meanwhile, the winner will probably be the Chinese middle class when these two giants have a price war to see who wins.

See Doing Business in China

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning My Splendid Concubine and writes The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

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Google Blinked First

July 10, 2010

I read a Washington Post piece by Keith B. Richburg that Google’s license to operate in China has been renewed, surprising many—even me.  I thought China would punish Google for all the noise over accusations of being hacked by China and stirring the Western criticism pot about China’s Net Nanny.

“We are very pleased that the government has renewed our ICP license, and we look forward to continuing to provide Web search and local products to our users in China,” Google’s chief legal officer, David Drummond, wrote on the company’s blog.

To get this approval, it appears that Google stopped redirecting mainland Chinese to Google’s site in Hong Kong, where people wouldn’t have to deal with the mainland Net Nanny.

The Wall Street Journal Blogs – Digits reports that this is a step back for Google since the affair lost them market share in China. Digits also explains the reason Google backed away from its threats not to censor its search engine was due to future profits by staying in the largest Internet market in the world.

The message I read at The Technology Liberation Front (cool name) is that it is important for American companies like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to stay in China. If they leave, their influence on China becoming a politically and economically freer nation would not exist.

The result, future profits defeated idealism.

See Google Recycled

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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Google’s China SeeSaw

July 8, 2010

They say that bad news is better than no news.  If true, Google is reaping a bounty in free media coverage.  Since so many do not like China’s Net Nanny, Google stands to earn loyalty and respect in the West.  Keeping track of this Google ploy over Internet censorship in China, I enjoyed posts from two Blogs.

Gizmodo.com had a creative illustration of the Great Wall with holes in it that are being bricked up to close Google. Even if China blocks the Chinese from using Google, Gizmodo says, “Google will still continue to exist in the country however, through Android phones and other services.”

eConsultancy’s Google’s Train Wreck Continues was fun, and I had a good laugh following the timeline of quotes for Google’s on again off again attention caper.

Was Google serious when they said, “We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we’ve faced…” as if China would say yes to offer uncensored search in Hong Kong for all of China but not in China.

Maybe Google knows what it is doing and decided to boil China’s pot and generate free global PR while getting out of a tough market that Baidu dominates.

See Google Recycled

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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Getting Around China’s Net Nanny

May 6, 2010

Eric at Amplify.com has a right to his opinion, but that opinion was wrong. Amplify.com says “Google’s Decision Re: China Fails to Knock Giant Off Its Perch.” and applauds Google’s decision to take a stand on China.

This post from Amplify was off the mark.  Google was making a profit everywhere but China.  Baidu, China’s Google, with more than sixty percent of the market share, was cleaning Google’s clock, because Google didn’t know how to serve the people properly. Google wasn’t alone. E-bay and PayPal made similar mistakes and lost money in China too.

There is no mention that Microsoft’s Bing may be quietly slipping into China to replace Google figuring that 30% of more than three hundred million people are worth the risk. Meanwhile, Google moves to Hong Kong with tail between legs. Oh well, Google can’t win all the time.

Besides, what is this big deal about censorship in China? Anyone who lives in China and surfs the net knows how to get around the Chinese Net Nanny by using proxy servers. I have friends in China who do it daily.

See more at Google Recycled.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning novels My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. He also Blogs at The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

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