Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What does Google want in China? - Hangout

Image representing Eric Schmidt as depicted in...
Eric Schmidt by Charles Haynes via CrunchBase
Is Google working on a regime change in China? Or does it want to do business in China? Or both, and it that possible, or only after the regime change? Those are some of the questions we want to deal with at the next test-hangout on Thursday, yes, at Google+, where else?
The subject got a similar number of votes at our ongoing poll on possible subjects in our hangouts in what we expect is going to be a weekly feature starting in September.

But when we saw today an interview with Google Chairman Eric Schmidt in Foreign Policy, and saw the critics gathering both at Foreign Policy and at our own link in Google+, the subject was unavoidable. 
Eric Schmidt in Foreign Policy:
"I personally believe that you cannot build a modern knowledge society with that kind of behavior, that is my opinion," he said. "I think most people at Google would agree with that. The natural next question is when [will China change], and no one knows the answer to that question. [But] in a long enough time period, do I think that this kind of regime approach will end? I think absolutely." The push for information freedom in China goes hand in hand with the push for economic modernization, according to Schmidt, and government-sponsored censorship hampers both."We argue strongly that you can't build a high-end, very sophisticated economy... with this kind of active censorship. That is our view," he said.
Eric Schmidt has voiced this opinion earlier, but he seems to stick to his guns, although many in China would disagree with his viewpoint, and for good reasons. At our hangout we hope to collect some different voices.
The "What does Google Want in China" hangout is scheduled for Thursday 9pm Beijing time, 3pm CEST (Europe), 9am EDT and 6am PDT (apologies for the last one). The meeting is expected to last for 45 minutes.
You can view the live broadcast and our recording later in this space, at my timeline in Google+, and you can even host it yourself with the YouTube code. We have limited space for guests who participate in the hangout itself, but everybody will be able to watch and ask questions, both at our event page and by email. Of course we keep a seat empty for Eric Schmidt if he is already awake by that time. Special guests who will participate, will get an invite ten, fifteen minutes before the start of the event. Since this is still a test, hiccups can be expected.
Do _not_ follow the hangup-link at the Google+ event page: it will lead you to an unofficial hangout with only co-victims who pressed the wrong link. If you register timely online, you will get the right link by email.

Update: From now on, you can also do your hangouts from iPhone and iPad. Look here for the details.

Notice: Unfortunately, we had to cancel the Google Hangout today on July 12 for technical reasons, although we could discuss a few issues over iPad. But the iPad does not allow hangoutsonair, and the sound quality is not that good. Do let us know if you want to get updates on our tests, and hopefully from September, our weekly hangouts.
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