Google doesn't expect followers

08:52, April 13, 2010      

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Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said Sunday that he does not expect other companies to follow the Internet giant's lead and stand up to Chinese authorities.

"Google is an unusual company," Schmidt said in a speech at the annual conference of the American Society of News Editors in Washington, which brings together top US newspaper editors and members of other news organizations.

"The principles of the company were set out pretty early when we went public. We have the ability to make decisions without a lot of short-term financial focus."

"I expect that most other companies either don't agree with our principles or, more likely, they agree with our principles but, mechanically, they can't do it," Schmidt said of the decision to exit China. "And so I suspect that you won't see a lot of others, but there's always the possibility."

Google announced March 22 that it was pulling its Chinese-language search services out of China, citing a hacking attack late in 2009 that it said originated from China.

Schmidt, whose company has come under fire from some US newspaper editors for linking to their stories through Google News without paying for them, also challenged US newspaper editors to take advantage of the power of the Internet.

He said the newspaper industry, which has seen advertising revenue plummet and circulation erode as readers consume free news online, has a "business model problem" and not a "news problem."

"You're going to have to run some experiments," he said. "The good news is you have lots of readers, and they're spending more and more time looking at your content."

"New forms of making money will develop," he added. "I am convinced that high-quality journalism will triumph."

Schmidt said devices such as Amazon's Kindle and Apple's iPad offer new opportunities to the newspaper industry through subscriptions.

Google has said it intends to retain some business operations in China, including research and development staff and a sales team.

Source: Global Times


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