No surprise here: Google’s Chinese partners are abandoning the company in the aftermath of its decision to stop censoring its search engine there. China Unicom won’t include Google’s search engine on its Android phones, the FT reports (Google was developing new phones with Unicom that would incorporate its e-mail and web services, although it put that work on pause shortly after it first threatened to pull out of the country).
Other partners that have curtailed their relationship with Google (NSDQ: GOOG) include portal Tom.com, which is no longer featuring Google as the default search engine on its site, and big online forums site Tianya, which Google owns a stake in.
So who might be the next to let Google go? The NYT reported yesterday that the Chinese government was putting pressure on China Mobile to end its deal with Google. That would be a major loss, considering that while Google has always lagged far behind rival Baidu (NSDQ: BIDU) in the overall search market, it has managed to match Baidu’s mobile search share, in large part because of its relationship with China Mobile.