Sundar Pichai

Google’s Sundar Pichai recently sat down with Forbes to talk about the Mountain View company’s ambitions in China, its relationship with Apple, and what its overall vision looks like. Some interesting quotes from Google’s Android and Chrome head have surfaced as a result, and among other comments, Pichai took a moment to respond to constant criticism from Apple that Google is in the business of monetizing its users. Pichai also touched on Google’s aspirations in China as well as the sponsored ad program it is testing in Google Play…

When asked about the “potshots” that Tim Cook has made towards Google time and time again, Pichai had this to say:

Users use our services by choice. These are very loved products. We have many many products that have more than 1 billion users. They provide a lot of value. And we provide many of these services for free. It’s a bit irresponsible to say everything should be many hundreds of dollars [as most Apple products are]. We have figured out a way to provide important services to users responsibly. I think that matters. Most users if you ask them, they are comfortable with how it works.

Many people use Google’s services because they provide “a lot of value,” and Pichai believes that it’s “irresponsible” for Apple to make most of its products cost hundreds of dollars. The way Google provides its services for very low prices, and in many (or most) cases free, is the “responsible” way to do things, according to Pichai. On top of that, Pichai believes that most users are “comfortable” with the way Google operates.

Pichai also took a moment to touch on the sponsored ad program that’s being tested in Google Play:

We provide them with organic information, but at the same time we allow companies to use sponsored ads to reach users too. We think the same model works very well for Play. We are going to be rolling out the early phases of ways by which developers can reach users through Play as well.

Lastly of note, Pichai commented on its aspirations in China, saying that it would be a “privilege” to serve Chinese users. While many of Google’s services have been known to be blocked by the Chinese government, Pichai believes that there are still “opportunities ahead”:

China is obviously one of the biggest markets out there. Android is powering a lot of innovation in China. That’s important to me. It would be a privilege to serve Chinese users. We obviously have had a set of issues in the past, but we also see opportunities. We have seen a lot of interest from Chinese developers on Google Play, because the extent to which Android is used. We see those as opportunities ahead. If we can figure out a model by which we can serve those users, it would be a privilege to do so. So I don’t think of China as a black hole. I see it as a huge opportunity in which we are playing as an enabling platform today and hopefully we have a chance to offer other services in the future.

Be sure to head over to Forbes to read the full interview…

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About the Author

Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.