Absence has apparently made Google's
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the world's largest search engine provider is hiring more engineers, salespeople, and product managers in China.
It's been two years since Google staged a public retreat from China, arguing that the government's restrictive ways make it impossible to run a search engine and maintain one's integrity. Redirecting visitors of Google.cn to a Hong Kong-based website that offers uncensored results has been an imperfect plan. The Chinese government occasionally blocks access to Google, forcing users to either cope with the frequent outages or rely on homegrown solutions.
Even at its peak, Google wasn't commanding half of the traffic that dot-com darling Baidu
However, Google isn't beefing up its presence in China to see if it can regain market share in search.
The growing global popularity of Google's Android mobile operating system finds it wanting to play a bigger role in that success.
Last month, Dell
If even Baidu is on the Android bandwagon -- to a certain extent -- why can't Google be big in China again?
Google apparently isn't eyeing traditional search. A few months ago it rolled out a comparison-shopping engine for local stores in China. Its top goal right now appears to be launching its Android Market app marketplace in China.
If Big G is able to re-establish its reputation in China -- and consumers can trust Google's reliability -- we might very well find ourselves at the search engine quandary.
Baidu has only gained market share in Google's absence, but it's not as if a worthy rival has stepped up as a legitimate silver medalist in China. Sohu.com's
So, yes, Google's hiring in China, but this doesn't mean that it's taking aim at Baidu and the smaller search engines in the world's most populous nation.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.