Google Plans Shanghai Research Center

There’s a lot of excitement about Google’s plans to open a research center in Shanghai.  And?  Well it will be about Chinese Language search and they haven’t announced staffing or finance. 

Does this look like vapourware to anyone, trying to show that they still care about the Chinese market?  WebProNews seems to have the best coverage of this, spotting the flaw that the other journalists didn’t – that there’s no real beef at the moment.

This caveat aside, why is Google bothering to be best in search in China?  It’s an heretical thought, but Google already has better results and a more accesible format.  Advertisers respond to this.

In a market which is expanding by 20% a year, and will soon overtake the United States being a quality player makes perfectly adequate profits.  I am not one of those people who think Google were wrong to bow to Chinese censorship, the Chinese market is very valuable, but being number one is not everything. 

People worry about Baidu expanding outside China being an ego trip unrelated to profit maximisation, could the same be said of Google’s plan to be number one in China?

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