Many of Google’s services are blocked in China, but the company is still finding ways of maintaining ties with startups there. Today People Squared, which runs tech hubs in Beijing and Shanghai, announced that it has joined the Google for Entrepreneurs program. That means it will get financial backing for operational expenses from Google and its startups will have access to the program’s resources, including co-working spaces around the world.
While services like Gmail and Google search are extremely difficult to access even with a VPN, Google has (along with other companies like Facebook and Twitter) managed to maintain a presence in China.
For example, Google Analytics still analyzes traffic to sites there. More importantly for developers in China, Google allowed them to start making money through Google Play in 2014, as long as they sell apps in other countries. But Chinese Android users, who have relied on alternative app stores for years, will likely get access to Google Play this year, making it even more important for Google to keep a foothold in the startup community.
People Squared says that the 300 startups based in its hubs have raised a total of $300 million so far. They now have access to the 25 co-working spaces around the world in the Google for Entrepreneurs network, its mentoring programs, and six campuses in London, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Tel Aviv, and Warsaw.
This is the fifth startup program in the Asia-Pacific region that Google for Entrepreneurs has partnered with so far. The others are Fishburners in Sydney, Australia,; Nest i/o in Karachi, Pakistan; 10,000 Startups in New Delhi, India; and Maru180, which runs Google’s Seoul campus.