Google CEO Stands By Actions in China
Google CEO Eric Schmidt said he stands by his decision not to agree with China's censorship of its Web site.
"We think it's important to be in China," Schmidt said, in an interview on CNBC. "We want to do it in a way that doesn't violate our fundamental principles."
Earlier Friday, Google said Chinese authorities had renewed its licenseto operate, averting a potential shutdown of the site.
"We do believe the move to Hong Kong does meet Chinese law and also the principles Americans care about," he said.
The Chinese market offers Google a huge opportunity for growth. As for other markets, Schmidt said its Internet business is growing despite economic turbulence around the world.
Even potential changes to the tax and financial systems have left Google's business largely unscathed, he said.
"It has not been such a big deal to Google because we're a sufficiently profitable company," he said.
Closer to home, Schmidt sees continued worries about the consumer and retail demand are weighing on corporate hiring, but employment is key to reviving a sluggish U.S. economy, Schmidt said.
"The most important thing for the government to do is to establish a program over the next few years that results in large, net new employment gains and the creation of new industries, new businesses," he said. "When people are working, they're paying taxes, their morale is better, you have fewer secondary problems in health and medical issues and so forth."
Schmidt also is concerned about U.S. debt.
"It will literally cripple us ten years from now," he said. "The U.S. economy is currently built on an unsupportable model of debt. Even under the most optimistic of projections, we don't get to a 3 to 4 percent deficit until 2015 or 2016. We simply can't live on this debt binge as a country."