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Google to Re-Enter China via Shanghai Free Trade Zone?

December 10, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

Since their launch in North America almost two-decades ago now Google has expanded all over the globe. Having expanded into Europe and created a stronghold in Western Europe, Google can be found in much of the Western World, but further East things are a lot different. In Russia, Google comes under criticism quite a bit of criticism and where one of the largest markets in the world, China, is concerned, Google doesn’t even have a foothold. Despite the fact that Android smartphones from the likes of Xiaomi, Huawei and ZTE sell extremely well in China, they do not use Google services and instead substitute these with their own.

This is down to the fact that there’s the “Great Firewall” of China, and that Internet services that run in China are subject to heavy surveillance, and Google simply didn’t want to sign up their own customers to such scrutiny without their consent. As such, Google made the decision to pull out of China some time ago, but there are now rumors that they’re looking for a way to find a way back into the Far East market in China. This latest rumor comes from China itself, and says that Google might be using the newly setup Free Trade Zone in Shanghai as a way back in. It’s said that Google has set up a decoy company in the name of Pengji Information Technology (Shanghai) Ltd. The Pengji name was registered on December 25th back in 2014 and was said to be owned by Google Ireland Holdings.

Whether or not this actually is Google remains to be seen, but it stands to reason that the Internet giant is looking for a way back into China. The real test however, will be whether or not they can get the Chinese government to change their approach to Internet firms. As this is more than a little unlikely to happen, it’ll be interesting to see what Google can achieve, if anything, via Pengji Information Technology.