Wednesday, 17 July, 2019

Baidu CEO declares he can beat Google again

Image Credit South China Morning Post Image Credit South China Morning Post
Emmett Howard | 11 August, 2018, 13:21

Baidu Inc CEO Robin Li (picture) said on social media he's confident of combating Google if needed, his first public response to reports the USA search titan is plotting a return to a market it largely pulled out of in 2010. Baidu dominates the domestic search engine space now.

Just earlier this month we caught a whiff of the "Dragonfly" project, which, reportedly, is a search engine developed by Google specifically for China, who is known for censoring the internet results for certain subjects, historical data, books and much more.

"We can now, with real knives and real guns, "PK" them again, win again", Li wrote, using a term that's come to mean compete against.

Chinese tech firms today have the ability and confidence to grow in the face of healthy competition and rival global companies, he said. Google has neither confirmed nor denied these reports. However recently there have been talks that Google is planning on making a return, and apparently this has been in the works for years.

Apple has removed hundreds of apps from its Chinese app store in the past year under increasingly strict censorship laws championed by Chinese president Xi Jinping.

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The opinion piece in the state-run newspaper said the Alphabet unit's 2010 withdrawal from China, when it complained about hacking and censorship, was a mistake that caused it to miss out on opportunities.

State-owned Chinese newspaper the People's Daily will welcome Google back to the mainland as long as it complies with domestic laws, it said in an editorial which was posted online on August 6 but has since been taken down.

The initial report that Google is working on an app that will help its search engine comply with mainland China's rules was written by The Intercept. News of a potential return has been met with resistance from employees and criticism from human rights advocates and lawmakers.

China's government has indicated Google is welcome back as long as it follows the law. These have run the gamut from news of protests to the cartoon character Winnie the Pooh after it was compared to China's President Xi Jinping. Facebook is also blocked in the country, but the social network is vying to gain a foothold.

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