Google’s Problem With Chinese Culture

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In late February, Forbes interviewed Google’s Sundar Pichai who said that Google was interested in re-entering the Chinese market:

Pichai said Google planned to make a renewed push in areas like payments, commerce and enterprise apps this year, and he suggested that Google would welcome the opportunity enter the Chinese market again…Pichai said…“I don’t think of China as a black hole. I see it as a huge opportunity in which we are playing as an enabling platform today and hopefully we have a chance to offer other services in the future.”

It’s no surprise that Google wants to re-enter the largest market on earth, with its hundreds of millions of increasingly-online users. But despite Google’s interest, their attempt at re-entry will be frustrated as their core mission statement is at odds with Chinese values. To understand why this is the case, we must first examine Google’s mission, the Western culture which enables it, and how that mission is at odds with Chinese culture. Continue reading