In the past few months, Google have been dropping hints, and we've seen numerous reports about Google entering into China again. Google and China don't have the best relationship. Mostly due to China's censorship rules. The Great Firewall of China has blocked hundreds of websites. Most websites that we use here in the US and even in Europe are blocked. Due to the censorship rules, Google has been absent from China since 2010.
A few months ago, a rumor was going around that Google would re-enter China with Google Play. However it wouldn't be the same Google Play we know and love here in North America. It would be one customized for the Chinese market. Now Google Play is going to have a really rough time, as there are hundreds and hundreds of app stores for Android already available in China. So there is plenty of competition. Now, Google Co-Founder, Sergey Brin who was speaking at an event for Project Loon, stated that under the new reorganization of Alphabet, Google and other units of Alphabet are free to work and operate in whatever country they choose. Which includes Sundar Pichai bringing Google back to China.
Brin also acknowledged that China is one of the markets they want to bring Project Loon too. And bring internet to the very populated rural areas of China. With more and more people getting online in China, and the smartphone market being the biggest one in the world, it's clear why Google wants to re-enter China. But they will need to play fair with the government to be able to re-enter the country.
It appears that Google will re-enter China in phases. We've also had reports that some Chinese smartphone makers – Elephone in this case – is working with Google on making an Android Wear smartwatch. The big question there is whether it would have Google search, or Google Now included, seeing as those are blocked in China. But if Google is getting back into China, it could very well be included. It's a tough situation for Google. China is a huge money maker for them. With China having over 1.3 billion people, and still being the highest populated country in the world.