Google And MySpace Expanding In China – SF Chronicle

“Companies seek to tap booming market, play catch-up with established local sites,” reported by San Francisco Chronicle today:

Google and MySpace are increasing their efforts to establish themselves in China, the second-largest Internet market behind the United States.

……Both moves underscore the continued push by U.S. Internet companies to tap into China’s booming Internet market. China has 137 million people online, and is on track to surpass the United States as the largest online population in two years.

But the companies also face tremendous obstacles. MySpace China will be competing against social networking sites such as Mop.com and WangYou.com that were started by Chinese entrepreneurs and have already attracted millions of users.

……



Industry analysts say Google’s handicaps in China include its failure to aggressively promote online music and to offer its G-mail service on Google.cn. The company refrained from offering e-mail in China after the controversy over Yahoo Inc.’s China arm providing information that led to a reporter being imprisoned.

Google did agree to self-censorship in offering a Chinese search site that omits politically sensitive information, such as details about the June 1989 suppression of political unrest in Tiananmen Square. Its agreement with China has provoked considerable criticism from human rights groups. [Full Text]

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