Google and China are in talks for return to the world’s biggest internet market, after it was pulled out in 2010 following a bitter spat with Beijing over censorship rules, the South China Morning Post reports.
Currently Google search engine as well other services, including email services are blocked in China and they can be accessed only with VPNs, (Virtual Private Network).
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“China has been in touch with Google through various channels. Last year, leaders of our country’s important department had further communication with them,” said Liu Binjie, a standing committee member of the National People’s Congress and former head of the General Administration of Press and Publication.
Google Scholar, a search engine for scholarly literature, was among the services on Beijing’s priority list for re-entry, according to Liu who was speaking to the Sunday Morning Post.
Other company‘s functions under negotiation included “service functions that do not involve [politically] sensitive information,” according to the lawmaker familiar to the matter. But no timetable had yet been set for the company’s return, he said. He added that commerce regulators were involved in the talks, which had been ongoing since 2014.
Since the company pulled its search engine out of mainland China the internet giant has from time to time expressed its desire to venture back to 721 million users and up.
“China’s principle is that you have to operate according to Chinese law if you want to enter the Chinese market,” Liu said. “But if [Google] goes by Chinese rules, it would harm its global operation rules and [its image as] a fair, open platform. Some agreements have yet to be reached in this aspect.”
No timetable had yet been set for Google’s return, he said.
The Information website reported last month that Google was in talks with NetEase, China’s second-biggest online games operator, to form a venture to launch its Google Play application store in the country.