Johnny Chou Keynote Address - SES China Day 1

Mar 17, 2006 - 6:23 am 1 by
Filed Under SES China 2006

NOTE: I'm not posting verbatim. It's in the first person because it's easier for me to write that way ;)

Speaker: Johnny Chou (Google) Position: Greater China President of Sales and Business Development Moderator: Chris Sherman moderating

Johnny Chou starts out by mentioning that this is his first SES conference. 4-5 other China Googlers are speaking. Thank You’s are in order. Johnny would like to thank Google’s content partners and media friends in China. He says there are lots of things in store for Google in China. New products are coming in September. Google will continue to recruit the best Chinese talents.What is Google’s mission in China? Google’s most important mission is to bring the best technology which can be shared by everyone. Google’s strategy in China are anchored on the following:

  1. “Abide by the culture”
  2. Innovate – upgrade the level of technology available; harness that to bring huge benefits for end users
  3. Customer-centric – customers are our highest priorities; they are the source of our profits.
  4. Support the growth of the Internet – Google needs to partner with content providers in China; Google needs to leverage its existing infrastructure (, AdWords, etc.) to promote Internet growth in China.

Search engine marketing (SEM) is just getting started in China. There are lots of opportunities. Online marketing is growing. Search is on the rise, but not too many Chinese companies are taking advantage of that. Consider these statistics:

  1. 1 million Internet users (?) and growing
  2. 25 million small-medium enterprises (SMEs) but only 600,000 have an online presence

What are the challenges you see? Education is key. We need to educate users, companies. We need to teach them online marketing. We need partners to help us do that. Google’s brand, products and technological leadership will help make this happen.

Who are the people in China? China’s internet user base is not that different. In China, users are younger (30% are < 22 yrs old); people are using it to research products, community and information. Search is reaching the high end segment, the ones with larger purchasing power; this young segment uses search to research product information online. Google has lots of products they can use. We need to ensure that we’re giving them the best interface to give these users the best user experience.

What’s the competitive environment here like? (no clear cut answer) Competition is good. Brings out the best in people. Competition brings out passion and creativity, key elements for success.

Can Google be true to its mission? Yes, we will put our users needs first. We will help them by providing localized versions of our products. More products are in the pipeline.

Talk about recruitment. Kinds of people you’re looking for? Google spends a tremendous amount of time in getting the best talents. We look for people with the following qualities:

  1. Passionate about the Internet.
  2. Intelligent
  3. Creative
  4. Passionate about helping others

How did you start with Google? Was born in Ninbo. Spent 20 years in the telco business. Bell Technology Labs(?) for 10 years; 10 more years for a Chinese company.

Johnny is a true Google user. At first, he wasn’t keen about it; didn’t want to move to Beijing and didn’t know a lot about the search industry. But after talking with Google CEO Eric Schmidt, he was convinced. Why?

  1. the Internet is exploding in China
  2. lives are being changed
  3. Google amazes me – he got the chance to go behind the scenes to check out some of the products and was amazed
  4. Google culture is very unique. Innovate, help out/ reach out – that’s attractive to me
  5. Google is the best place to learn new technology.
  6. I like that they’ve shown dedication, dedication to search, dedication to China.

How can Google help marketers reach businesses in China and reach customers outside We’re big. We’re all over the place. All our products have great reach. 80% reach (1 billion users; 800 million have tried our search-related products)

We’ve got good products. Ad distribution network is most advanced and most used product in the world. Site targeting, sitemapping, analytical tools. Great targeting options for businesses.

Where will Google be 5 years down the road? Internet is going to grow at high speed. 10 years, China will be largest internet user group in the world. Business mentality will be changed. Search and online marketing will become a big part of how companies will sell.


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