Google CFO Patrick Pichette may have said Google wants to give the Chinese people open access to information as part of the company’s global mission, but the loss of their access to the country with the greatest number of online users is a market and profit potential they would not want to lose.
Pichette is quoted in the Times saying, “China has 1.2 billion people. For Google to say, “We’re going to live on our mission, but not serve 1.2 billion people” — it just doesn’t work. China wants Google.”
Using the recent blocking of information about the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo who’s currently serving an 11 year sentence in China for ‘inciting subversion’, Pichette said, “[If] you were in China last week, two weeks ago, and you typed in Nobel Peace Prize — there were no results. Think of Google’s brand now. You’re Chinese, you know that’s not true, that the Nobel Peace Prize hasn’t disappeared from the face of the earth. There lies the issue of brand. There lies the issue of our mission.”
The fact that China has surpassed the US as the largest online national population is also a huge factor.
Google dominates the other countries on the graph – over 80% in India and close to that for the rest.
[Source: 1, 2]