(Yicai Global) March 15 -- The Chinese government is in talks with the global online search giant Google about its return to the Chinese market. 'Google Scholar' may be the first to get the go-ahead.
The news came from Liu Binjie, head of the Science, Education, and Technology Committee of the National People's Congress and former chief director at the Press and Publication Administration, the South China Morning Post reported. Leaders from key Chinese departments had in-depth discussions with Google, Liu disclosed during the recent Two Sessions (annual meetings of the National People's Congress and China's national political advisory body).
Google.com has expressed its wish to return to China on several occasions since its exit from the market in 2010. at a tech conference in Beijing in 2015, Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google's parent company -- Alphabet Inc. [NASDAQ:GOOGL], said that the company had kept up a dialogue with Beijing, and it planned to "serve the entire Chinese market."
Rumors about Google's return to China have been flying around, but no exact timeline is available. Last year, Google held Google Developer Day (GDD), Google for Entrepreneurs and several other events in Beijing. Last month, news broke that Google was about to bring its mobile app and digital media store, Google Play, to China by setting up a joint venture with Chinese internet company NetEase.
By contrast, Google Scholar should stand a better chance of approval from the Chinese government.
"The academic search service will get the go-ahead first," Liu said. "China is interested in academic research, including academic, scientific and cultural exchanges, not news or politics." Discussions are also underway regarding Google's 'other services that do not involve sensitive information', he added.
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