Google: New Products, Acquisitions In China?


Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has already flagged its interest in tackling China’s online population through the mobile phone. Now the company’s president of greater China, Lee Kai-fu, has revealed to Reuters that Google might put its money where its mouth is, with acquisitions and products tailored to the Chinese market. “China has a large mobile opportunity, with so many mobile users who will become mobile Internet users in the next few years as 3G and other technologies become pervasive. These mobile users have very different usage patterns from the American users. Most Chinese users who touch mobile Internet will have no PC at all. That requires thinking from ground zero on how to design products that fit their needs.” China has a low PC penetration compared to mobile users — currently some 500 million people, out of a population of 1.6 billion, take some kind of mobile service. Google’s currently lagging behind Baidu (NSDQ: BIDU) in PC searches but has apparently pulled ahead on mobile, so it’s got in some ways a better prospect for services on handsets for the time being, at least.

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