Patrick Pichette, Google’s chief financial officer, told the paper that withdrawing Google from China last January after a clash with censors was merely a “roadblock.” At the time Google said that it had been the target of a major cyber attack and would no longer censor its search results to comply with Chinese authorities.
However, Pichette told The (London) Times that it was not the end. “China has 1.2 billion people. For Google to say, ‘We’re going to live on our mission, but not serve 1.2 billion people’ -- it just doesn’t work. China wants Google.”
He spoke of the “great firewall of China,” where censors filter the information that China's internet users can view.
He said: “[If] you were in China last week, two weeks ago, and you typed in Nobel Peace Prize -- there were no results. Think of Google’s brand now. You’re Chinese, you know that’s not true, that the Nobel Peace Prize has not disappeared from the face of the earth. There lies the issue of brand. There lies the issue of our mission.”
“You have the right to know who won the Nobel Peace Prize this year. For us to actually not have any of these results, it doesn’t make sense to filter any more. That’s why we took the stance we took,” he added.
In June Google and the Chinese government reached a kind of compromise when the internet giant stopped shifting users from its Chinese address, google.cn, to a Hong Kong site that Google does not censor. The concession meant Google's internet license within the country was renewed.