Google is now talks with a group of advertising resellers in China that had waged a hunger strike against the company in Shanghai earlier this month.
The seven Chinese ad-reselling companies began protesting this month, claiming that Google decided to terminate contracts with them without fully divulging why. About 200 employees staged the protest outside Google’s offices in Shanghai, with 40 of those employees going on a hunger strike.
The protest, however, only lasted for a few days. The local government decided to intervene by helping to restart talks with Google and the ad resellers, said Fan Meiyong, a representative for the ad resellers.
The ad resellers say they have worked for Google to sell online advertisements over the last four to five years. But in September, Google notified the companies about ending the partnerships.
Without the partnerships, the companies expect to face major financial losses. The group wants Google to apologize and pay US$7 million in compensation.
“The problem is with Google’s attitude. It seems like they are trying to delay things,” Fan said of the current negotiations. “We don’t know if they will agree or not with us.”
Google could not be reached for immediate comment. In an earlier statement, the company said, “We do not discuss individual cases, but there are a variety of reasons why we choose to end relationships with certain partners. In all cases, we do so lawfully and in line with the terms of our contract.”
In China, Google’s share of search ad revenue has now fallen to 21.6 percent, a marked decrease from the 35.6 percent it had at the end of 2009. Domestic search engine Baidu holds a 73 percent market share.