An Internet Giant, one Upstart Powerhouse and an optimistic ‘India’

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Why just one news of this type and we start anticipating as if we can be the king now? Huh…


The article from ET really made me upset about the mindset of author, and how his thinking reflects the thinking of a typical Indian- We don’t fight to win things but anticipate that our competitor loses out to something, so that we can gain!

google quit china

O.K. So the story goes like this- Google faces multiple cyber attacks from (alleged) Chinese Govt officials in order to restrict human rights activists and limit free speech on Web. Google also seems to be getting frustrated of the multiple censoring which Chinese Govt imposes on their search results. Yesterday Google started showing some banned search results related to Human rights activists and they said they are not going to put any censorship on such results from now onwards. Reasons for Google quitting (or at least threatening to quit) from China may be multiple- not being No.1 in China, financial issues or moral issues. But in real terms Google quitting China may not be a big shocker for China as we are seeing it.


Commonwealth-GamesGoogle may be Internet giant but chinese people can very well do without it. The search giant in China is baidu.com, as against “Google”, “Yahoo” or “Bing” in other countries. This news is being followed very curiously in western countries (due to Google) and in our country (due to China), but the seemingly affected country “China” looks very cool on the other hand. Why is it so? And why we as Indians start anticipating that it can bring some good news for us?


China is a very very confident country in today’s date. They are very strong- both economically and technology/military wise, they have their own rules and they care a darn what other countries think about them. Their local market is larger than a that of several big markets combined- For e.g. China’s total internet market is 330 Million while that of US is 200 Million and India has a mere 50 million. So even in this case China may look as a loser to many but the real loser is none other than Google. If Google quits China, Chinese internet will not shut down, on the other hand it will give other Internet startups a chance to create their own space. China anyways is building a very strong entrepreneurship ecosystem in their country. They have around 800 business Incubators as compared to India’s 50 and they are focusing on building more.


It reminds me of their fight at last time’s Beijing Olympics- how they topped the Gold medal’s list and almost stunned US by trailing them just by 10 medals in overall tally. Their governance may be questioned but there are some areas where their focus is very strong- manufacturing, sports, startups, technology, hacking etc.

Last year I read one article at HT which said that China can handicap India just by launching an e-war, they have hackers of such caliber.


But why we become so optimistic hearing news like this. We have been able to beat China in just one thing- BPO’s and software outsourcing, to which they give a darn. They don’t try to compete India in this field and we are happy that we are the software outsourcing leaders. See I’m not complaining of my country here, but this news that Google’s decision to quit China may help India sounds ridiculous. In India we solely depend on foreign technologies to get our daily tech dose- from searching on Google to checking Gmail to using WordPress. Here more than 95% of web businesses rely on Google and yes I don’t need to put a source link here :). Best thing with China is that they are self reliant and we are totally dependent on western technologies- which is not always a good thing.

guruji

More than 60% of users don’t know about Indian search engines like Guruji or about local search engines like burrp or asklaila. For them Internet is off if Google is off. So let’s start making efforts to support Indian startups (both web and other technologies) so as to become more self reliant. This world is still accessible- thanks to WTO but no one knows till when :).


  • What you as an Indian think about this? Both sides of view are a welcome.

  1. rabi gupta says

    @ Ankit and Vishal- That’s exactly my point is. We don’t use Guruji and we don’t want to use it as we have Google. And if a similar situation arrives in India (as that of CHina) we would beg Google to not go. All the websites will talk about nothing but an outcry against Govt/Culprit’s decision. I’m sure Chinese are also talking about the same, but the very fact that baidu offers almost everything for Chinese what Google does for the World. Just do a wiki search and you’d know. I dont know chinese but a simple keyword search as “Google” resulted in “Sponsored Links” ads on the right hand side. A total rip-off of Google and it also complies to Chinese Govt censorship rules.
    If we don’t start supporting Indian startups do grow as big as Baidu we may be losing too much to US at the times of need. Just another POV :)

    1. Madhav Shivpuri says

      Rabi,
      Good point. However, Google has risen through natural selection. 15yrs ago, search was Yahoo, AOL, Altavista etc. Since then Google has left them in the dust due to its capabilities and also due to other organic/ in-organic growth. Guruji hardly does any marketing (at least I have not seen their banners on any sites) and so it has to focus on any vertical that it can beat Google at, and then aim to draw traffic. Just patriotism cannot be the answer.

      1. Ankit says

        Rabi i think Madhav nailed it!! Patriotism aint the answer..the thoery of natural selection is going to prevail..Survival of the fittest..Quality is going to be only benchmark for anything free product and price+ product for any product with a price tag:-)
        However, do let me know what kinda support you envisage from the community.May be that will help put things into perspective

        1. rabi gupta says

          see I’m not asserting that Guruji will be India’s Google. What my whole perception is – we may become hopeful after China loses Google, but our ecosystem/mindset should be to become more hopeful of new tech startups that can gain from this and not what we (as a country) can gain from Google. And that’s something for which neither you nor I can do much, our Govt should start supporting the ecosystem more proactively :).

  2. Madhav Shivpuri says

    Does Google need China? May be – for their revenue, traffic etc.

    Does China need Google? May not be – China existed before internet. It existed before Google and I am sure can live without it. To add to it, there is Baidu which is doing very well. The country itself is thriving and that’s not due to Google.

    Does any company,like Baidu, listed in US refuse to comply with SOX despite the cost and effort of doing it? If not, then why should Google refuse to comply with Chinese rules? Google can comply or leave, but by not complying while operating within Chinese borders is being arrogant, to say the least.

    Rabi, to be blunt, ET trying to raise hopes for Indian businesses because of this Google incident probably borders on yellow journalism. There is no logical reasoning for this and so this should not have been the view of the paper unless it was written in their blog with a disclaimer that it did not reflect the views of the paper.

    1. rabi gupta says

      Hi Madhav, as usual very god insights into the post :). The fact is Google is trying to show that they don’t like censoring some data which allows freedom to speak. But on the other hand the major issue may be their financial problems and attitude. If you’r no 1 on internet, you want to be no 1 everywhere and failing to do so can leave anyone frustrated.

  3. Vishal Sanjay says

    None of the local search engines like Guruji and Asklaila provide quality search results like Google does, China may be cool now, but I’m sure without Google internet businesses with advertising revenue models will be affected as their is going to be a change in algorithm resulting in change in search rankings. We must not forget that it was Google Adsense that played a key role in getting the internet out of the bubble, if Google leaves China bloggers and internet marketers will loose their main source of income.

  4. Ankit says

    Hmmm..The agony is understandable.
    Will be playing the devil’s advocate here though :-)

    1) The Chinese are giving a darn bout IT/ITES too :-) They are catchin up and Mandarin is going to become a preffered choice for IT aspirants

    2) Internet is about finding the best out there!! So, i dont think i can go out of my way and use guruji when i have google :-) I hope u l agree that google is zillion times better then google. Moreover, guruji’s design looks a clear google rip-off.take that for authenticity.

    3) Dont want to blame the startup ecosystem in India, hell i wanna be a part of that too :-) But the quality has not been to the scale.One reason could very well be that the mentorship/funding sucks for startups but then as a consumer, its the quality and the ease that matters to me.
    4) By t way, i do use burrp first when i want to search for a food joint etc :-) But then, agree that the aam junta traction aint there

    I know i have been critical but then, thats the way i feel :-)

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