Saturday, February 11, 2006

Charles Zhang "Bombardied" Google

"Google has no show in China. Yahoo took 7 to 8 years to have learned the lesson. I believe Google will have to pay the same price" said Zhang, CEO of

The flamboyant Zhang was certainly with firepower when he made above statement on Feb. 8. In his hand was the unaudited quarterly earning report from Sohu. (Wallstreet certainly liked it with an 18% reward for Sohu's stock traded on Nasdaq. Google's stock has suffered 20% since it's earning report missed Wallstreet expectations).

"Don't even mention Ebay, nor Amazon or MSN. None of them has succeded". Why Google will also fail? Charles Zhang has a crystal ball. "It's a structural defect. A subsidiary from a multinational can never win in China. There is the gigantic culture divide".

It's not the first time Zhang made the statement. "He has yet had any respect for the operations of multinationals. Since Google is making stride in China this year, it is normal for Charles to make such statement" said a person familiar with Zhang.

“Google is too young”

"Look at how Yahoo stumbled in China, you will see Google's failing path", According to Zhang. "For a subsidiary of an American company to succed in China with two managers, with whom no experiences of an internet portal, and no close relationship between the decisions from their headquarter and the local market, it is a story you will only have heard in Arabian Nights". "I think Google is too young", added Zhang.

“Google will be a failed company in China”

Focusing on their recent heavy investing on search business, Zhang clearly aiming at their real competitor, Baidu. "We are focusing on challenging Baidu, since I believe Google will stumble in China." He still maintains his last year's promise :"We will pass Baidu in one year". He also indicated that the revenue from paid search business is not Sohu's focus. The real focus will be the traffic growth. "We will try to gain more users first, then the rest will come".

“To choose Google is to ruin your future”

“Nowadays, many young people who are choosing Google will have the similar fate as those who have chosen Yahoo. " Charles must have recalled his embarassment when several of his top executives left Sohu to Yahoo years ago. A few years back, Yahoo came to China to recruit. Many people were rushed over including Sohu's chief editor in business section as well as chief editor in news. Gone with them are also many of their associates. Sohu took a hard hit at that time.

“Google is recruiting here. It lures many young people because they can't see through it. Many young people have not gone through the internet experiences since 1998. Very likely they are ruining their future just like those many who have gone to Yahoo have done." said Zhang.

Wang Dandan from


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