Eric Schmidt: “Negotiating doesn’t work with the Chinese”

Google’s CEO speaks to Businessweek. Here are some of the bits that I found interesting (for different reasons, of course):

And the phenomenon of Zynga, what does that say to you?
People are willing to spend an awful lot of money on fake animals.

Given the app gap, how does Android compete with the iPhone?
The iPhone established a whole new category, but…the Apple model is closed. Same hardware, same applications, same store—a so-called vertical stack. All the other vendors want an alternative, and Apple is not going to give it to them. Along comes this Android operating system, which is a complete turnkey solution with similar capabilities. Most important, we make the software available for free. So all of a sudden, Android becomes very popular with companies like Motorola (MOT) and LG. We now have more than 200,000 of these phones being turned on every day—in 59 countries. We think Android will end up being one of the small number of very successful mobile devices.

Where is the world of apps going?
The Google (GOOG) model is called open-Web applications. There’s another model Apple is pushing, which are these iPad applications. The iPad apps are beautiful but highly restrictive. They’re written in a specific programming language; they’re not Web applications. Over the next few years it should be possible using so-called open technologies to build apps as powerful as those on the iPad but do them on the Web, which means they’ll run everywhere.

What did you learn from Google’s experience in China?
The thing you learn about China is…Chinese citizens are very clever, very creative, and the Chinese government is very, very powerful.

So you didn’t change government censorship policies by being there?
The evidence is clear that our entry did not alter censorship policies whatsoever. Negotiating, Charlie, doesn’t work with the Chinese.


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