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Google banks on China market
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Google Inc expects its position as the world's most popular online search site and sales from fast-growing Asian markets, including China, to help the company weather any United States recession.

"One of the very good sources for Google is the very rapid growth in Asia," said Eric Schmidt, chief executive officer of Google, which gets almost all its revenue from advertising next to search results. Historically, people tend to shift their money to the most "highly measured" advertiser when there are "economic difficulties," he said yesterday at a briefing in Beijing.

Google, which generates about half its sales from outside the US, said operations overseas, including the Chinese market, are "well positioned" to cope with a US slowdown. Mountain View, California-based Google's shares have fallen 37 percent this year after climbing 50 percent in 2007, amid concern the world's largest economy is in recession, Bloomberg News said.

"We think the Chinese online advertising market is one of the best places to be," said Elinor Leung, an analyst at CLSA Ltd in Hong Kong. "Even if the US slows, China is still going to see quite strong economic growth." Leung has a "buy" rating on Baidu.com Inc, China's biggest search site.

(Shanghai Daily March 18, 2008)

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