Google CEO: China's Internet censorship will fail in time

As more Chinese people going online, China's censorship will struggle to keep pace, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said

China's strict controls on its Internet usage will eventually fail as more of the country's people go online and express themselves, said Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

"Ultimately, the people will win over the government. The yearning is so strong," he said on Wednesday during a talk hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations.

Schmidt's comments come several months after Google announced it would stop censoring its search results in China. But even as Google has attempted to provide unfiltered search results by redirecting users in China to the company's Hong Kong search engine, the Chinese government continues to block certain searches.

China currently has 420 million Internet users, according to Chinese government statistics. But certain sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are blocked. At the same time, China heavily invests into policing the web, using a large organization of regulators that are estimated to number from 30,000 to 50,000, Schmidt said.

Still, the sheer number of Chinese people using the Internet in coming years will push such monitoring past its limits, he added. Currently, the country has more than 800 million mobile phone users, many of whom are starting to use their handsets to go online.

"The question is at what point will there be so many Chinese people online that such mechanisms break down in terms of censorship and so forth?" he said. "If you think about the scale, they've got a billion phones that are trying to express themselves. It will be difficult in my view to completely keep up with that."

Google continues to operate offices in China. But the country has since seen its market share steadily drop in the country. Now the company controls 21.6 per cent of the search engine market, a significant drop from the 35.6 it held at the end of 2009, according to Beijing-based research firm Analysys International. China's Baidu currently dominates the market with a 73 per cent share.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags regulationinternetGooglesearch engines

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?