Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on May 1, 2006
My BusinessWeek colleague Gene Marcial reports that Google might be interested in taking over Beijing-based portal Sina. In response, Google has denied that it’s interested in the Nasdaq-listed company: The China Post, an English-language newspaper published in Taiwan, quotes Johnny Chou, Google’s president of sales and business development for Greater China, saying that the company “is not in talks with Sina.” The paper also quotes Sina president Charles Chao dismissing all the speculation. “We’re not currently in talks with any party about an acquisition,” Chao tells the Post.
Of course, even if Google were interested in Sina, that’s not something that Chou or Chao would likely own up to when talking to a reporter. A Google-Sina deal might happen – anything’s possible. But I can’t see why in the world Google would want to buy Sina, a portal that emphasizes its news coverage from state-controlled media. Google was pilloried worldwide after it launched its own China-based site, censoring results in order to stay in line with China’s regulators. Imagine how much grief Google would get from critics in the U.S. if it took control of China’s No. 1 site for censored news.