Eric Schmidt thinks encryption can get Google into China

January 24, 2014


Google chairman Eric Schmidt is known for occasionally making somewhat ridiculous statements, and at the World Economic Forum at Davos he had a few interesting things to say about getting into China.

According to Schmidt, Google will be able to use encryption to get into countries like China and North Korea. “It is possible, within the next decade, using encryption, we would be able to open up countries that have strict censorship laws … giving people a voice,” Schmidt said at the conference.

Google moved its search engine out of China and into Hong Kong back in 2010 in an effort to get around censorship and cyberattacks in the country. That doesn’t mean Google is completely ignoring China, though, it just can’t offer all of its services in the country. YouTube is entirely blocked by the Great Firewall, and Gmail only occasionally works.

Schmidt went on to say that “80 to 85% of industrial espionage is thought to be done by China. It’s a real problem. No other country comes close.” Presumably Google’s encryption will eventually be able to shield it from said attacks.

When asked about the NSA and the surveillance it conducts in the U.S. and in other countries Schmidt said Google is working on making its encryption stronger so even governments can’t penetrate it. Schmidt then brought the conversation back to China, saying the strong encryption “creates a problem for governments like China.”

It’s not clear exactly when Google will have this powerful encryption ready, with Schmidt only commenting on “within the next decade.” The encryption will obviously help Google because it can mean access to even more potential users. For the rest of us, it means the data we ensure Google with is more secure. Then we’ll only have to worry about Google having our data. But that’s better than nothing, right?


  • Brandon Miranda

    The Great Firewall. Brilliant!

    • Peter

      The phrase “The Great Firewall” has been used for many years, by many media organizations, by many people in general. It’s not unique to this story. Perhaps reading some news would be helpful.

      • Brandon Miranda

        Pardon me. But who do you take me for? A half minded dimwit? Yes I didn’t know the information but being as I am Hispanic and highly prideful of it, I do not spend my countless hours relentlessly searching up on China and the practices.

        • Primalxconvoy

          It is, however, a widely used term at tech news and blog sites, like this.

          Also, what has ethnicity got to do with one’s ability to comprehend basic tech terms?

          • Brandon Miranda

            No no. I used it because to show that I worry more about things such as the reason I visit this site more than what’s going on in China.

          • Primalxconvoy

            Understood, but as China is often referred to in global and tech news, we were both surprised that you were unaware of the term. Being interested in China is neither here nor there.

          • Brandon Miranda


  • najiy91 know why.

    • MasterMuffin

      Because the article mentions China?…

      • Brandon Miranda

        People these days… Can’t even use proper grammar! ;)

        • najiy91

          nobody is perfect.there are many people outside us,uk(asians,arabs)who are still learning not be so ignorant.

          • Brandon Miranda

            Sir. Half my family line doesn’t speak English. At all. Obviously you should’ve been able to tell I was kidding by the winky face. I was referring to something else extremely indirectly. I believe you are the ignorant one coming up with all this baloney shaloney about privacy and stuff. Just so you know, spaces exist for Asians to you know ;)

      • najiy91

        no.because i do not like google creeping into all countries for personal data and location access.that is private data.i am anti nsa too.france and other europe,and other asian countries were being victimised.sorry android authority and master muffin.

        • MasterMuffin

          I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about other than the data thing (don’t use Google if you don’t want to give them your data)

          • najiy91

            i didnt said I will not using google.i just disagree with their underground ops with nsa.why states so so nosy on other countries?oil? did we steal your oil?no. every people want to live happily with privacy in their homeland.its asians opinions.ur not agree its ok.peace.(‘~’)

          • MasterMuffin


          • AA :P

            you’re right. USA has created a monster that’s unparalleled. why do they want so much info about every living human ? (other than for creating a police state, or to have supreme power, while they were chanting the mantra of democracy/ human rights and preaching it to others like china/ russia). so the nsa part of usa isnt cool at all.

  • bob

    ” countries like China and North Korea ” … and the UK!

  • dirtinCh

    i could imagine those sniffs and sneers of whom “safeguard” this country for the C.P.C.

  • Jayfeather787

    Hooray freedom.

  • dgdf

    but do the chinese want google , thats the question.

    • Harint Chu

      of courese,we need it indeed!

  • John Doe

    I am not sure how better (unbreakable) encryption will work in countries that want to know what all of their citizens are talking about in email etc ??
    Would that not stop countries like China, North Korea from ever wanting this type of service(s)?? besides the fact that these services might give users access to out-side influences, which is a big No-No …

  • Jason Yuen

    As a Chinese, I can tell you that using proxies in China is more common than you think. It’s almost like one of those things you do when you first set up your brand new computer. This encryption will definitely help in reaching more people, but really won’t be the “extra billion people” that people might think. Even with proxies, the Chinese public like to use Chinese clones of popular sites. Google = Baidu, Youtube = Youku, Twitter = Sina Weibo. These services are geared more towards the Chinese culture more than Google would be willing to do with their services.

    • Harint Chu


  • AA :P

    china is free from nsa. that’s the real reason perhaps why china did not want it’s people giving out all kinds of METADATA on google

  • Harint Chu

    After all,it is a exicting news these days. In China, it is so complex to use Google services.Without root access in Android smartphones ,you can’t install any Google apps.Unlike the other smartphones in other countries,they are not pre-installed.