If you were to buy an Android smartphone from China, you will find that Google’s services won’t be loaded onto it. Instead there is a good chance you will be greeted with China’s own app stores from the likes of Baidu and whatnot. However if a report from The Information (paywall; via The Verge) is to be believed, Google could be making a comeback.
One of the reasons why Google’s presence in China isn’t particularly felt is because of concerns over cyberattacks and surveillance. In fact Google isn’t the only company from the West that has been missing in the country. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube also do not operate in China, leaving Chinese residents to turn to local alternatives.
That being said, Google is apparently relying on its Android partners such as Huawei to make a return to China. However one of the conditions is that Google will need to leave out apps from its Google Play Store that the Chinese government deems inappropriate, like apps that might paint the Chinese government in a bad light.
In fact the report from The Information goes on to note that Google has expressed their willingness, and has stated that they don’t plan on selling media like movies or books as well, just apps for now. Google has declined to comment on the report so take it with a grain of salt for now, but even with censored apps, a return to the Chinese market could be huge for the company.