"One Billion Customers" author James McGregor's take on China search

Paul Gigot of Fox News interviewed James McGregor, former Wall Street Journal China Bureau Chief and the author of “One Billion Customers: Lessons of from the Frontlines of doing Business in China.” McGregor will be a keynote speaker at adTech in San Francisco this week.

GIGOT: What about this issue of the Internet companies, who are growing enormously around the world.

And in China, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft have been criticized because they’ve agreed to Chinese government censorship. Microsoft, for example, has agreed to take the word democracy to be filtered out of web searches. Was this a good decision for these companies to make?

MCGREGOR: Well, these people are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. They have to be in China. China’s the number two Internet market in the world.

But China censors. So what do you do on your servers in China? Go ahead and censor, but label it like a warning on a cigarette pack, saying cigarettes will harm your health. Say this search has been censored according to Chinese law.

GIGOT: Now, Google does that.

MCGREGOR: Google does that. And they have kept their blogs and their e-mails and other products that would gather Chinese user information, out of China. They’ve have tried to do the honorable thing.

And if Congress tried to keep the American Internet companies out of China, well, then, their Chinese competitors, all of whom are listed on NASDAQ — Sina, Sohu, NetEase. Baidu is the No. 1 search engine in China.

Source: Fox News

David Temple

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