Google: Eric Schmidt hints at China ambitions
Published: 27th Jan 2011 23:03:40
Eric Schmidt - stepping aside as chief executive of Google - has told the BBC he has ambitions to promote the web firm's business in China.
Among other tasks, Mr Schmidt hopes to find a Chinese partner for Google's Android mobile phone operating system.
He noted that he was the most pro-China of Google's triumvirate leadership.
In March last year Google stopped co-operating with China over censorship - a joint decision that Mr Schmidt said he was happy with.
"Over time I would hope - especially in my new role with more of an external focus - that I can try to get more of Google, appropriately and within our policies, into China," he told the BBC's economics editor, Stephanie Flanders, at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
It was revealed earlier this month that Mr Schmidt, 55, would make way as chief executive for Larry Page, 37, who co-founded Google with Sergey Brin.
"Between the three of us, I have always been the person who believes the most in expanding into China," he claimed.
Mr Schmidt will remain as "executive chairman", a role he said would be two-thirds external and one-third internal, with most of his time devoted to customers and partners.
We have been late at adding social capabilities to our core products”
Referring to the Davos shindig, he said that "the great regret is that there are not more Chinese leaders here - both political leaders as well as business leaders" - in contrast with the number of Indian attendees.
He said Google's leadership reshuffle was a "clarification of roles" intended "simply so that we could make decisions more quickly".
He denied that the change was due to a lack of innovation at the company, although he conceded there had been a sense that decision-making was taking too long.
Mr Schmidt spoke about the importance to the company of taking into consideration the cultural sensitivities of different countries.
"It makes sense to me that governments will play a role in watching what we do," he said, referring to anti-trust and privacy concerns.
He cited the example of Germany, where there was particular concern about Google's plan to photograph the roadside facade of every house in the country for its Streetview database.
The firm offered German homeowners the right to opt out before the pictures were even taken, and nearly 3% duly did that.
But despite this initial opposition, "Germany is the second-highest user on a percentage basis of Streetview of any country in the world," he said. "We know that German consumers really love our product."
On Wikileaks, Mr Schmidt said the company had decided to make leaked documents searchable via its website, irrespective of the US government's opinion, because they believed there was no legal threat to them under American law.
As for China, he said there were "censorship laws that we simply do not like", causing the company to relocate to Hong Kong last year.
Google is still censored by the Beijing authorities - without Google's co-operation - via the "Great Firewall of China".
But Mr Schmidt said that the arrangement was "stable" for them, and appeared to be the same for China, who recently renewed their licence.
However, he cautioned that China could "arbitrarily cut it off at any point".
The Google executive chairman rejected suggestions that the company had lost its edge.
"We are the innovator and leader at scale," he said, citing among others its maps products and its new Chrome operating system.
But he admitted that social networks like Facebook might have stolen a march on the company.
"We have been late at adding social capabilities to our core products," he said, despite claiming that the search engine was still experiencing high growth precisely because they continued adding innovations to it.
He dismissed Facebook as a threat to the company and was poaching staff: "We hire more people in a week than the total number of people who have left to go to Facebook."
But he criticised social networks for being "walled gardens" - shielding its members' data from search engines like Google's - claiming their consumers would be better off if more information were disclosed.
"These closed systems of information threaten to some degree the... openness and accessibility of the [web]," he said.
At 12:58:39 in EnglandA poem about the killing of PC Keith Blakelock during riots in north London was written by the man accused of his murder, a court has heard.
At 12:58:21 in SportKent have announced a pre-interest and pre-tax profit of £156,778 for the financial year to November 2013.
At 12:56:04 in ScotlandA hamster has been found abandoned inside a plastic play tube in Edinburgh.
At 12:55:09 in BusinessThe sometimes fraught relationship between leaseholders and their freeholders is going to be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
At 12:54:04 in HeadlinesIndia's Supreme Court has ordered the continuing detention of businessman Subrata Roy and asked his firm to come up with a plan to repay its investors.
At 12:53:21 in SportCrystal Palace winger Jason Puncheon has been fined £15,000 by the Football Association and warned about his future conduct for Twitter comments he made in relation to former boss Neil Warnock.
At 12:52:43 in HeadlinesA second witness at the murder trial of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has told a court in the capital Pretoria she was awoken by the sounds of a fight early on 14 February 2013.
At 12:42:01 in PoliticsThere is a risk that "deliberate provocation" could give rise to a dangerous incident in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned.
At 12:41:48 in EnglandA residential treatment programme for addicts which closed in Yeovil is to reopen after the charity running it merged with another organisation.
At 12:40:03 in ScotlandPolice Scotland has exceeded its target to recruit 1,000 additional officers.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2011. Google: Eric Schmidt hints at China ambitions [Online] (Updated 27th Jan 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/126022/Google-Eric-Schmidt-hints-at-China-ambitions [Accessed 8th Mar 2014]
News In Other Categories
India's Supreme Court has ordered the continuing detention of businessman Subrata Roy and asked his firm to come up with a plan to repay its investors.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
The law needs to be changed to stop ticket touts overcharging fans ahead of the Rugby World Cup, an MP has said.
Two hospitals missed opportunities to take action against a consultant breast surgeon who was performing unnecessary or incomplete operations, a review has found.
Kent have announced a pre-interest and pre-tax profit of £156,778 for the financial year to November 2013.
The sometimes fraught relationship between leaseholders and their freeholders is going to be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).