Google: China Decision Was 'Right'
Google said Wednesday it did the right thing in appeasing the Chinese government in order to offer service in the country. The comments were made by CEO Eric Schmidt during a press conference in China to announce a Chinese-language brand name and research center to be located in Beijing.
The search giant was heavily criticized in January following the launch of its Chinese language Web site. Searches on the topics of human rights, Tibet, the Dalai Lama, and democracy omitted certain Web sites and redirected to Chinese government URLs.
Schmidt defended Google's decision, because without it they could have not properly served the 111 million people now online in the country, he said. China now is the second largest country online in terms of Internet subscribers, behind the United States.
He also said afterwards that it would have been "arrogant" for Google to come into the country and immediately tell the government what it should and should not be doing. However, Schmidt wouldn't rule out discussions in the future.
Google also censors search results in Germany, where prohibitions exist against the linking of Nazi-related material.
Google's new brand name in China will be "Gu Ge," Chinese for "valley song." The company said it picked the name to allude to a rewarding experience, adding that it draws on Chinese tradition.
The new research center will employ 150 by the middle of this year and eventually thousands, Google said. While based in China, employees will be tasked with worldwide projects. The company said it is moving quickly to hire individuals as Chinese universities begin to graduate a large number of proficient programmers.