February 24, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
UPDATE: Previous suggestions that Google snubbed Beijing on its Asian Android Developers Lab tour have been shot down by Google. A Google spokesperson has debunked the suggestion and said that there was never any plan to visit China’s capital. Below is an article written about the previous report by Reuters.
Bucking expectations, Google will not host a development event in Beijing, a move that could be seen as a response to their increasingly chilly relationship with the Chinese government. Though it was expected that Google would show off its Nexus One and encourage development in China’s capital like they have done in other cities, no such event will take place. According to a source that spoke with the Reuters news agency, “If Google did not have such an issue with the Chinese government, they would have conducted a similar event in China.”
The issue that Google has with China centers on censorship and hacking attempts that Google claims are linked to the government. China denied the allegations and attempted to assure Google that everything is fine, but there’s clearly bad blood between the waters. Google even threatened to pull operations out of China and forgo the possible billions of dollars that the company could earn in the country.
The growing rift between Google and China is affecting Android obviously. The Chinese adoption of Android through new devices and OPhone will likely continue, but the talent pool of developers are not going to get the same hands-on resources made available to developers in Europe and North America. Google will go ahead with planned developer events in Hong Kong and Taiwan, but Chinese talent on the mainland will be shut out for the time being.
Someone will have to blink soon; let’s hope it’s the Chinese government.