Geopolitics of search: Google versus China?

2016-09-13T11:49:00Z (GMT) by ShinJoung Yeo
This article focuses on the case of Google, the newly emerged US Internet industry and global geographical market expansion. Google’s struggles in China, where Chinese domestic Internet firm, Baidu, controls the market, have been commonly presented in the Western mainstream media in terms of a struggle over a strategic information infrastructure between two nation states – newly ‘emerging’ global power China countering the United States, the world’s current hegemon and information empire. Is China really becoming an imperial rival to the United States? What is the nature of this opposition over this new industry? Given that the search engine industry in China is heavily backed by transnational capital – and in particular US capital – and is experiencing intense inter-capitalist competition, this perceived view of inter-state rivalry is incomplete and misleading. By looking at the tussle over the global search business, this article seeks to illuminate the changing dynamics of the US-led transnationalizing capitalism in the context of China’s reintegration into the global capitalist market.