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Google China Business Grows, ‘Continues to Thrive,’ Alegre Says

Google Inc.’s business in China is growing and “continues to thrive” amid demand for advertising services in the world’s most populous country, said Daniel Alegre, president of the company’s Asia-Pacific operations.

Google ran afoul of Chinese authorities in 2010 for refusing to abide by local censorship rules. Amid the clash, the company shuttered its unfiltered search tools in China and instead began redirecting users to pages in Hong Kong.

Still, the company is focusing on products that are “non-sensitive” in China market, Alegre said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Google is seeing strong demand for advertising with its mobile and desktop services, he said.

“We never left China, and we continue to believe in the market,” Alegre said. “It’s a very vibrant Internet market. We have some of the best employees at Google and we continue to grow not only our revenue but also our headcount in the country.”

Google, looking to grow beyond markets in the U.S. and Western Europe, aims to expand in China after losing search market share to Baidu Inc. China is the largest Internet market by users.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, was little changed at $585.52 yesterday in New York. The stock climbed 8.7 percent last year.

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