China Youth Daily: Google’s “‘Puppets'”

“Why are Google’s Chinese investment partners remaining silent,” asks China Youth Daily (中国青年报)*), quoting Naive Northern Chinese in North America (北方憨哥在北美), reportedly a blogger who felt depressed because ever since the row began, he hadn’t heard the voice of the Chinese side in the joint venture running Google China, and who wonders if the Chinese investing company is belonging to the puppets of the foreign investors (是不是“属于外资方的‘傀儡’). China Youth Daily first goes back to the year 2006, when Google entered China, and an ICP controversy that apparently was in the news at the time.

According to China Youth Daily, the company that runs Google China is a joint venture, Beijing Gu Xiang Information Technology Co., Ltd. (北京谷翔信息技术有限公司), whose investors in turn are Feixiangren Information Technology Co., Ltd. (飞翔人信息技术有限公司)  from Beijing, and Google Ireland Holdings Ltd. – and not Google Information Technology (China) Co., Ltd., as the article emphasizes. The Guxiang joint venture obtained its ICP number in June 2007, the paper writes, and quotes two people familiar with the internet, Wang Junxiu (王俊秀) and Liu Xingliang (刘兴亮) as saying that Gu Xiang Information Technology had been just a shell to obtain an ICP number.

When starting its operations, Google had used Feixiang Co.’s ICP number, one that Feixiang itself had obtained in 2005, writes China Youth Daily, and adds that two friends of Feixiang Co.’s co-founder Yang Haoyong (杨浩涌) had been both Google employees, and fundraisers for the project that lead to the establishment of Feixiangren Information Technology Co., Ltd., the Chinese investor in the Guxiang joint venture.

Wikipedia writes that [o]perating from China is also a prerequisite for acquiring a license. Foreign companies such as Google, unable to acquire a ICP license on their own, often partner up with Chinese Internet companies to use the licenses of the Chinese company.

Wikipedia links to Forbes with a background story: Industry experts agree that Google’s actions are generally in line with those of other foreign multinationals here, lending more credence to the theory that Google may be receiving undue scrutiny due to a host of politically motivated reasons.

The China Youth Daily article’s second issue is the intricate relationship between the Chinese investors and Google.

In an interview in 2007, Yang Haoyong disclosed that the relation between the two sides were close:

“We began contacting Google at the end of 2005. By 2006, there was some strategic cooperation, which is now getting ever deeper. ….. We are depending on Google’s help and support.”


According to China Youth Daily, Feixiang’s current legal represenative was previously Google’s mobile products manager in China.

Yang Haoyong ended his tenure at the Guxiang joint venture’s helm on July 31, 2009.

The way the Guxiang joint venture was founded and the intricate relationship between Feixiang and Google had led Naive Northern Chinese in North America, the blogger referred to above, to his individual judgment that

the original Chinese joint venture was just like that, the Chinese investors’ side was basically belonging to the foreign investors’ sides’ “puppets”. No wonder that we don’t hear their voice!

原来中国的合资企业,就是这样来的,中资方基本上就属于外资方的‘傀儡’,怪不得听不到中资方的声音呢 !

The article ends with the statement that Feixiang Co. hadn’t been available for an interview.


*) China Youth Daily’s article is republished online today by Enorth, see this post’s first link


Related operating with no licence, China Blog, Febr 23, 2006
Provisions on Administration of Foreign-Invested Telecommunications Enterprises,, Jan 1, 2002

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