Two years after pulling its search engine from main land China, Google is once again pushing to expand in the enormous market. The original disagreement between Google and Chinese officials started after Google traced a cyberattack to Chinese hackers. The hackers attempted to not only steal proprietary computer code, but also attempted to spy on Chinese activists' Gmail accounts. Although officials denied any connection to the hackers, Google moved its search site to Hong Kong where censorship requirements are not as strict.
The move made many think that Google totally withdrew from China, but that is not true - Google still has 500 employees there. Instead of focusing on search, Google is striving to expand services that do not require official censorship. These include products that help citizens find discounts at local stores and a product-search service to find products from online retailers. Some citizens still use their other products including Gmail, despite constant service disruptions from the government's censorship system.
At the end of the day, Google is an advertising company and their goal is to expand advertising revenue. Google's share of the online advertising market stands at 7% which is down from 10.9% in 2010. Google hopes to leverage its Android mobile platform to drive more online searches as well as increase share in in-app advertisements. Some point out that Google will face more censorship issues as current app stores censor apps the government finds unacceptable while Google may be hesitant to do so.