Other U.S. corporations doing business in China may admire Google's tough stand against the country's government over Internet censorship and cyber attacks, but that doesn't doesn't mean they're prepared to exit the country along with Google. Far from it. Take Motorola, which launched a turnaround effort last year built around Google Android-powered phones like the Droid and Cliq.
But following the search giant's standoff in China, Motorola struck a search deal Google's arch-rival Baidu faster than you can text a donation to Haiti. Going forward, Motorola will let consumers choose Baidu or other search alternatives instead of Google as the default search option on Android-based phones in China.
Motorola also said it would open its own application store for Android phone customers in China, where Google's Android Market storefront has not been available. "It takes away the risk that Motorola's success in China is 100 percent tied to Google," Morgan Keegan analyst Tavis McCourt told Reuters in relation to the Baidu deal.
Just business Google, nothing personal. Who wants to do business with a pariah company trying to face down a repressive regime over the Great Firewall and cyber espionage? That shouldn't be a problem with Baidu, China's No. 1 search provider. China Digital Times has said the company has "a long history of being the most proactive and restrictive online censor in the search arena."
That should be comforting to Motorola as it tries to rebuild its business in China, where its share of the phone market has shrunk to 2% from 20% in recent years, according to analyst McCourt. Now if Hillary Clinton would clam up with all this talk about global Internet freedom that's pissing off Chinese officials...