Google has had a tumultuous and ambivalent relationship with China, reflecting an internal debate about the importance of the vast market to Google’s future revenues and the compromises involved in operating there. Yet the literal and figurative bottom line is that it’s all but impossible for a US public company to resist the lure of the world’s largest internet and mobile markets even if it means compromising public principles.
For some context and comparison, Apple’s China revenues were roughly $13 billion in fiscal 2011. That’s about 12 percent of the company’s overall revenue.
While Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt would probably say there’s been no “reversal” or change of policy, the Wall Street Journal reports that Google is now “softening its tone” and “renewing its push” into China. According to the paper:
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