Google CEO Eric Schmidt defended Google’s cooperation with the Chinese government’s censorship while announcing their new Chinese name in Beijing Wednesday. Scmidt told reporters “The number one goal, by far, is to serve the Chinese citizen who wants information” . He added, “There are many cases where certain information is not allowed by law or by custom, and we’ve made a decision that we have to respect the local law and local custom”.
Google announced the new name will be Gu Ge which loosely translated means “harvest song” or “valley song”. Google said in a statement: “The name conveys the sense of a fruitful and productive search experience, in a poetic Chinese way.” This is the only country where Google has changed their name. Google’s strategy may be to distance itself from the censorship controversy and at the same time look more “Chinese” to the users in China. Google currently lags behind Baidu in terms of market share.
Google expects substantial revenue growth in China and plans on hiring 100 software engineers this summer for their new research and development center. That number will grow to “eventually thousands”, Schmidt said, “You have an enormous number of computer science and smart people here who are Chinese and want to stay in China”.