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Will Google’s Spat With Beijing Trigger Other Problems?

Tuesday, 23 Mar 2010 | 5:51 PM ET

In the wake of Google’s spat with Beijing, will other companies challenge the way China does business?

That's the chatter on Wall Street after Google announced plans to shutter its search engine on mainland China and re-route searches through a site it runs in Hong Kong.

Trading the Globe
Investing abroad following the Google-China situation, with the Fast Money traders.

In case you’re like us and wondering why Hong Kong, we did some research and found that as a former British colony, Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China and enjoys more freedom, including an uncensored Internet.

"Although an escalating conflict is hardly good for business, I don’t blame them for falling on their sword for the moral cause," says Patty Edwards of Storehouse on the Fast Money Halftime Report.

Google's decision comes during heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington over issues ranging from Internet freedom to the yuan exchange rate, economic sanctions on Iran and U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan.

For the record, our government said earlier in the week that Google’s decision to shut its mainland Chinese-language portal was a business decision by the company that did not involve the U.S. government.

What’s the trade?

In a note to clients, Kaufman analytst Aaron Kessler said Google's pain was Baidu's gain and he upgraded Baidu to "Buy" from "Hold" and raised his price target to $690 from $540.

If you want to play China I'd go with domestic companies like China Unicom, China Tel and to some extent China Mobile , says Tim Seymour.


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Trader disclosure: On March 23, 2010, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders: Najarian Owns (AA) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (AKS) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (CLF) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (TCK); Najarian Owns (TEVA); Najarian Owns (MYL); Najarian Owns (F) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (INTC) Calls; Najarian Owns (TIE) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (YHOO) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (BAC) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (C) Calls; Najarian Owns (F) Calls; Najarian Owns (RHT) Calls; Najarian Owns (TIE) Calls; Najarian Owns (YHOO) Call Spread; Terranova Is Short (CAL), (UAUA), (GOOG), (GS); Terranova Owns (QCOM), (APA), (TER), (BEAV), (AMSC); Terranova Owns (GS) Puts; Terranova Is Long Crude Oil May Futures; Cortes Is Short Euro; Grasso Owns (AAPL), (ABK), (ASTM), (BA), (BAC), (BGP), (C), (COST), (CSCO), (PFE), (PRST), (WMT), (JPM), (NEM); Edwards Owns (TM); Edwards Owns (AAPL) For Clients; Edwards Owns (F) For Clients; Edwards Owns (CSCO) For Clients; Edwards Owns (GOOG) For Clients; Edwards Owns (JCG) For Clients; Edwards Owns (INTC) For Clients; Edwards Owns (MSFT) For Clients; Edwards Owns (QQQQ) For Clients; Edwards Owns (RIMM) For Clients; Edwards Owns (SPY) For Clients; Seymour Owns (AAPL), (BAC), (BX), (CHL), (TIE); Seygem Asset Management Owns (VALE)

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