Google, the biggest search engine, may stage a comeback in China, the biggest market in terms of number of web users.
Google had pulled out of mainland China in 2010 after disagreement with authorities over censorship directives.
The most populous nation in the world boasts of 721 million web users. With Google not in the picture, Baidu rules the roost in China. At present the Chinese nationals can access the service by using VPNs (Virtual Private Networks).
However, the situation may soon change, people having knowledge of the matter said.
“China has been in contact with Google through various channels. Last year, leaders of the nation’s important departments had further communication with Google,” Liu Binjie, a standing committee member of the National People’s Congress and former head of the General Administration of Press and Publication was quoted as saying in the Economic Times.
Google offers a vast array of services in addition to basic search. The Chinese authorities are keen on introducing Google Scholar in the country at the earliest. The academic service of Google may thus be the first to stage a comeback in the country.
“China’s focus [is on] academic exchange as well as science and culture, instead of news, information or politics,” Liu said.
The Chinese government minced no words in stating that it will not allow any service from Google’s repertoire that carries politically sensitive information. Thus Google’s comeback may not really be a cakewalk.