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Ep. 18: China vs. Google: Rematch?

On August 1, The Intercept broke a story that Google was planning to enter China with a censored search engine. Within hours, the same news was all over Chinese tech media. In this episode of TechBuzz China, co-hosts Ying-Ying Lu and Rui Ma tell the story of Google in China — or rather, its 2010 departure and oft-rumored return. Though Chinese tech media love speculating, how likely is this to actually happen? What role does the U.S. government play? What factors need to be in place for Google’s return to occur, and is this even what the company’s leadership really wants?

The story of search in China is not complete without also discussing Baidu, which dominates over 70 percent of the domestic online search market in the country. In fact, on the day Google left China in 2014, Baidu’s stock went up 12 percent on the news. However, has Baidu truly maximized its opportunities? Is there truth to the complaint that Baidu’s search results are heavily skewed towards commercial results, versus user needs? What has been the impact of scams, such as the May 2016 case of an unscrupulous hospital that was promoted on Baidu and resulted in the death of a college student? How do these industry-wide challenges within the China search industry impact attitudes towards Google, and contribute to the excitement around its potential return?

Listen to the newest episode of TechBuzz China and delve into the nuances behind Google’s real status in China at the level of public opinion. What can we learn from reactions such as that of Baidu’s CEO Robin Li, whose viral post on WeChat stated “the entire world is practicing Copy from China. These are realities that every global company that wants to enter China must face and ponder deeply.” When it comes down to it, will Google find success in the China internet market of 2018?

As always, you can find these stories and more at pandaily.com. Let us know what you think of the show by leaving us an iTunes review, like our Facebook page, and don’t forget to tweet at us at @techbuzzchina to win some swag!

Rui Ma and Ying-Ying Lu

Rui Ma and Ying-Ying Lu are both entrepreneurs and China-watchers who lived and worked in the technology space in China for many years. Rui Ma is also an angel investor. Together they host the TechBuzz China podcast by Pandaily, a tech media startup reporting on everything about China's innovation.