Google’s India-born CEO Sundar Pichai on Tuesday made a strong case for the search giant’s return to China, saying it is already helping Chinese companies gain global access.
Google was shut down in China in 2010, following a showdown with the government over censor policies. Since then, Google, Gmail, Youtube and its other products are banned in the world’s second largest economy.
“A lot of work Google does is to help Chinese companies”, the 45-year-old Google CEO, who has a BTech degree from IIT Kharagpur, said at a state-run global internet conference at the Chinese city of Wuzhen.
The conference was also addressed by Apple CEO Tim Cook and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“Many small and medium-sized businesses in China take advantage of Google to get their products to many other countries outside of China,” Pichai told the meeting, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.
After the ban, Google subsequently shifted its operations to Hong Kong.
In its absence, Chinese firms like Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu and JD.com emerged most powerful players in China and abroad.
Google and its products can be accessed in China through Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) over which, Beijing has stepped up a crackdown in recent times.
Apple this year agreed to the Chinese government’s requests to remove dozens of VPN app services that allow Chinese users to access blocked websites from its local App Store.
Pichai’s attendance at the state sponsored internet meeting came after China recently lifted the ban on Google translation services.
Besides Google, a number of global social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter remain banned in China over fears that their presence would open-up to millions of China’s social media users marginalising the official media.
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