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Google's Real Fight in China  (View post)

bvs [PersonRank 0]

Wednesday, January 14, 2009
11 years ago4,926 views

Amazing article!
Never really understood Google's game in China, before this article that is.
Some Baidu perspective is begged for in future articles.

[signature removed]

J. McNair [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Apparently Google China's modest (but respectable) success is due to careful strategy, persistence and focus. And they are able to do this while sitting on an ethical and moral knife's edge. How unsurprising yet satisfying that Google China still exists, and somehow remains equally "Google" and "China".

I mean, sure it's a bit of a fluff piece, but there are many interesting bits about the nature of China's internet users. It's nice to know they are as fickle as us Americans.

[put at-character here]Philipp
This is a very good article, and the translation is commendable. Was this an official or human translation or did you use software? Or maybe some combination of the two. There are still some awkward phrasings, but I do love the Chinese idiom of "making an egg stand on a table" which I assume means "to do the impossible".

If a translation this good came out of Google Translate, then I officially proclaim Google Emperor of all Information.

Andreas Ramos [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Excellent article. Lots of background information. Non-Chinese users however won't know about other aspects of the web in China. Just as Google executives didn't understand the Chinese web bars ("it's just music and games?"), there are other things going on in China that are different from the web in the USA. The article focused on Google, but to understand things, one has to know what is going on at Baidu as well. Baidu had a very rocky winter this year. Many serious problems, etc. Google could end up winning not because it is better, but because Baidu made too many mistakes (just as Microsoft won over Apple because Apple made too many strategic blunders). Maggie Guan and I are working on a book to be published in China (in Chinese) in early summer 2009. We will have interviews with all the major players in the Chinese market.

DF [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

>making an egg stand on a table
hmm. I thought that was a reference to Egg of Columbus

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> Was this an official or human translation or did
> you use software?

Actually, Michael Zhang, the author of the article, translated it into English himself for another purpose (this is the first time his translation was published, though). I think Google's auto-translation would not be good enough for this purpose, by far... even though perhaps a service like could have yielded results. A big thanks to Michael for allowing this republication.

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Excellent article by Michael Zhang. While there have been many articles telling the truth of the development of Google business in China, this one is especially elegant, making you understand the fact and the truth more closly.

Brandon [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

"... Google China still ... remains equally "Google" and "China" ..."

Not true. While it does bring the Google attitude & spirit to China, and helps the people there greatly simply by existing, it's still cooperating with a totalitarian regime. It's still probably right to be in China & stay there, but that makes it no less true all the same.

If Google could find a way to stick to its morals (free speech, open knowledge, privacy) while pleasing Beijing enough to stay alive ... now *that* is what I would call a "balance an egg on a table" act! Thus, Google set out to accomplish the impossible, so it's not surprising they didn't succeed.

Stand [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

"Lee now has strong enough reasons to claim the lead of his team in Chinese-language search technologies. But a test shows that users will favor Baidu when the logos of the two companies are shown, even if most of them think Google provides a better result in blind tests."

I've seen similar blind taste tests between Google U.S. and Yahoo U.S. Take away the branding, and people do not express a preference for Google (it's about a 50/50 split). Add the branding, and people prefer Google. Certainly Yahoo has way less market share than its quality deserves, and that's a function of branding.

It's funny to see that Google is now in Yahoo's shoes, when it comes to Baidu. The brand outweighs the search quality.

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