Google’s China Chief to Step Down

China head John Liu is departing in August and will be replaced by Scott Beaumont, current director of the company's partnership business in Europe.

Google has announced that its current China head, John Liu, is leaving the company in mid-August.

Stepping into Liu’s role and taking the reins in China will be Scott Beaumont, Google's current head of partnership business in Europe, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. 

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Liu has been Google’s China chief for six years and managed the company's China business in the face of myriad challenges. In 2010 Google decided to cease complying with Chinese government requirements to censor its searches, moving its Chinese-language base to Hong Kong, which operates semi-autonomously from Beijing and enjoys a free press and Internet. Since that move, Google has seen its already limited market share in mainland China plummet as government blocks and interventions have made Google products inaccessible or slow and difficult to access. Chinese search giant Baidu currently commands upwards of 70 percent of the country's domestic search market share. 

According to Google, Liu is leaving to “pursue other opportunities.” Beaumont, Google said, will “continue Google’s focus on helping Chinese business of all sizes grow locally and globally.” While Google’s products and services have limited reach within China, a great many Chinese companies are customers of its advertising space and services, which are targeted to consumer markets across the globe.

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