Here's an interesting scenario: If Google does stick to its guns and leaves China because the country continues to insist on censoring web search results and blocking websites, will it also pull Android cellphones from the Chinese market?
Just recently, Dell announced it would be carrying a Android based cell phone in China. If China is anything like the US, it will soon be flooded with Android phones from all over.
Motorola, which has a surprisingly strong foothold in China recently announced that it was going to make Android the focus of its smartphone development.
Numerous other mobile phone manufacturers including HTC and Samsung have also signed up to be distributers of Android phones.
But will they be able to sell them in China? If Google moves its presence from the country, will they be able to get support?
That isn't the case with YouTube. YouTube, if banned from China will no longer be a "global" utility/entertainment site.
Obviously, Google's competitors stand to gain from Google's possible departure. Local search engine Baidu which already controls 80% of the Chinese search market will certainly be in a much better standing without Google. Yahoo as well.
Android competitors like Apple's iPhone, Blackberry and Windows Mobile will also be better off without the prospect of having to compete with Google.
Finally, I'd note that Google isn't just threatening the Chinese market. It is threatening its multinational companies that do business in China (and who doesn't anymore?!).
If you are a business using Google Apps for enterprise, yet, your office in China doesn't have access to google Apps, you are in a particularly interesting situation. Also, what IT manager would consider handing out Android phones to executives that work in the mainland if their Google phones can't be supported locally?
That's just the begining. Will Blogger work there? Adsesne? Google checkout?
Because Google isn't just a search engine anymore, its decision to abandon China, the world's most populous country, might have much larger consequences than you'd initially think.
This story, "If Google Leaves China, What Happens to YouTube and Android?" was originally published by Computerworld.