How big tech perceives China

From Rana Foroohar‘s Don’t Be Evil pg 245-246. It’s interesting to read this in light of quite how much Uber burned trying (and failing) to break into the Chinese market:

As many Googlers have told me, China is considered the world’s petri dish for digital technology. Even as it’s become more repressive, it’s become more tech saturated. China has the most Internet users, many of the most innovative services, and some of the world’s richest and most powerful companies—Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and others—that are completely unhindered by the privacy and antitrust conversations taking place in the United States. Chinese young people are even more digitally connected than their Western peers. This was a market Google was ready to risk everything to be in, as evidenced by a leaked speech from Ben Gomes, Google’s head of search. “China is arguably the most interesting market in the world today,” Gomes said. Google didn’t want to be there just to make money, but “to understand what is happening there in order to inspire us.” As he put it, “China will teach us things that we don’t know.”