Google annual search revenue in China

Update 11 July 2010: China has renewed Google's China license, and a confirmation in this regard has arrived too(Reports Reuters).

After a bitter spat with China a few months ago, Google is showing keenness to continue doing business in world’s largest internet market (China). Search giant’s CEO Schmidt, addressing executives and financiers at an annual gathering of the industry's big names in the Idaho mountain resort of Sun Valley, said he expected Beijing to renew its license to operate a website in the country. Schimidt’s optimism is backed by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Wednesday statement which said that it was reviewing Google's license renewal application but gave no deadline for completion.

Analysts said Google's decision to stop automatically rerouting users to its uncensored search page (to a search site in Hong Kong that provided uncensored results) showed a softening of stance and willingness to compromise to maintain a foothold in China. As the reluctance to show censored results (regulated results) in China, was the primary cause of bitterness between Google and China during the much public spat. Google started the rerouting in March, but stopped now, as Beijing indicated it would not renew its Internet Content Provider license if it continued to do so.

Google's search business in China accounts for a tiny slice of the company's $24 billion in annual revenue. Analyst estimates of Google's annual revenue in China range from $300 million to $600 million.

Google remained on the losing side, since the much public feud with China, it not only lost its search share to local search leader Baidu Inc; but also pointed to future trouble for Google's non-search businesses in China, such as Android-based mobile phones, now carried by the nation's largest telecoms carriers.

So losing China meant clouds over long-term growth prospects for Google as well. --------

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