Google’s ‘Chairman’ Predicts End Of China’s Firewall

from Following Google’s high-profile spat
with China over censorship in 2010, the company has been mostly candid
about its disagreements with the country’s Internet policies. However,
those comments have usually been tempered by the silent understanding
that China must be dealt with in some fashion.
But in a new interview,
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt offers even more revealing
insight into how the company views China and its future as a global
technology player.

“I believe that ultimately censorship fails… I personally believe
that you cannot build a modern knowledge society with that kind of
behavior, that is my opinion,”
Schmidt told Foreign Policy magazine. “I think most people at Google would agree with that. The
natural next question is when [will China change], and no one knows the
answer to that question. [But] in a long enough time period, do I think
that this kind of regime approach will end? I think absolutely.”

Schmidt’s comments were made last week offstage during the Aspen Ideas Festival,
an annual gathering of global scholars, artists, experts and business
leaders held in Aspen, Colorado. Schmidt’s comments come amidst China’s newfound popularity as Silicon Valley’s hardware manufacturer of choice.
China has also enjoyed new global influence as a technology hub as its
local brands such as Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent rack up large chunks of
market share in Asia versus Western competitors.
But despite China’s
rise to tech prominence, Google’s experience in the country has apparently changed the way it looks at the region.

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