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Microsoft Sees a Window in Google's China Woes

Published on March 18, 2010
by Andrew Browne

Chinese officials are masters of divide-and-rule, a tactic they’ve put to good use to enhance their bargaining position with the foreign business community.

So there was some eye-rolling among the more seasoned Western business executives in Beijing, earlier this year when Bill Gates weighed in on the Google vs. China imbroglio by criticizing Google (GOOG) and offering a sympathetic assessment of the Chinese position in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “Bill Gates Bats for China,” read a triumphal headline in the Global Times, a sometimes nationalistic Chinese newspaper.

The charitable explanation was that Gates was expressing a personal view.

Apparently not. It seems that this is now a part of the company’s image-making in China.

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