Google is currently in talks with China for the search engine’s return to the country. According to Liu Binjie who is a standing committee member of National People’s Congress (China’s Parliament), the country has been in touch with Google through numerous channels.
Liu Binjie is also the former head of the General Administration of Press and Publication.
Google was pulled out of China 7 years ago (2010) following a censorship rules spat with Beijing. Since then, the search engine as well as its email services have remained blocked in the country and are only accessible through Virtual Private Networks or VPN.
Google Scholar has made it on the priority list of Beijing for re-entry. Liu, in his talks with the South China Morning Post, said that they were hoping to see a part of Google’s business return to China first. He reiterated that the academic sector will see the first push for re-entry. This is primarily because the country’s focus on academic progress through science and culture takes precedence over politics, news or information.
A timetable for Google’s return has not yet been set.
In the years that Google has remained absent from mainland China, internet search engines such as Baidu, a Chinese language based engine, have been prosperous. China has a web user base of 721 million and is the world’s biggest market for the use of internet. Bing, Microsoft’s search engine has also tried to penetrate this user base.