Google pursuing a return to China with AlphaGo on its back

Jun 08, 2016, 08:00 am

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By Hong Soon-do, Beijing correspondent, AsiaToday - It has been revealed that Google is planning to re-enter the Chinese market with artificial intelligence (AI) go master AlphaGo on its back. Looking at the current situation, Google is likely to come back to China soon.

Google China headquarters that had been in Beijing before its exit in2010. If the match between Ke Jie and AlphaGo takes place, Google's Chinareturn is expected to take place soon./ Source: search engine Baidu

According to ICT industry sources in Beijing on Tuesday, Google exited the Chinese market in 2010 due to a soured relationship and censored demands by the Chinese government. However, the company has been seeking ways to re-open its service since it makes no sense to abandon a big market of 1.4 billion people. Its previous event of arranging a match with South Korean Go grandmaster Lee Se-dol after developing AlphaGo, which triggered unprecedented global attention, can be seen as part of its plan. Google's plan was to make China interested in the event, hoping to re-negotiate its re-opening of business in China.

Chinese Go world champion Ke Jie is likely to play against Google'sAlphaGo before the end of the year./ Source: Baidu

Looking at the current situation, Google's such strategy is working well. As expected, the China Go Association as well as the entire society is showing a positive response. It has been revealed that China Go Association has made a formal offer to Google to join a match with 19-year-old Chinese Go grandmaster Ke Jie at the end of the year.

Google has not made its position clear regarding the offer. However, it must be grinning inside. Perhaps, it might announce that it will be happy to accept the offer at an appropriate time. Obviously, it could conduct under-the-table negotiations over its China return with the Chinese government. Renowned ICT critic Zhou Ing is optimistic about the situation, stating, "There still remain old grudges between Chinese government and Google. However, Google has a strong commitment to business in China, and China has no reason to disapprove Google's return if the company follows business guidelines in the Chinese market. If the atmosphere smoothes even further with confirmation of the match between Ke Jie and AlphaGo, cooperation of both sides can go beyond imagination."

#Google #China #AlphaGo #Go #Lee Se-dol 
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