In a report on TechSina (via 9to5Google) Chen said in an interview that “Google service will definitely re-enter the Chinese market this year, will come back anyway.”
According to the 9to5Google report, it was also rumoured that Google specifically chose Huawei as a manufacturer for its Nexus 6P phones due to the company’s presence and influence in China.
For Google, the re-entry of its Play services in China is crucial given that the country is the biggest Internet and smartphone market in the world. The re-launch of Play Services in China will mean a a big growth in numbers for Google.
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Google exited China in 2010 after a dispute over censorship, but a lot has changed since then. Google’s Android has become the leading smartphone OS in the world and is also dominant in China. But in China, users have a fragmented experience of Google Play and Android as services like Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive etc are not available there.
Last year, Google’s co-founder and now President of the parent company Alphabet, Sergey Brin had also indicated that Alphabet might do business in China. Brin had told the Wall Street Journal that the new organisational structure would allow each unit autonomy on the matter.
“Each Alphabet business can make its own decisions on which countries to operate in,” Brin was quoted as saying. “We already do quite a lot of business in China, although it has not been an easy country for us.” Google currently does sell ads to businesses in China.
Given China’s importance, the -re-launch of its Google Play Services in China should not come as a surprise to anyone.