Google's China chief to step down in August

The search giant's head of China operations will leave next month to pursue other opportunities. Google's director of European partnerships will take over.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Google's China chief John Liu is stepping down from the company after more than five years in the job in search for new opportunities and challenges.

The search giant said Liu will "pursue other opportunities," leaving the door open for what he might move on to. Google EMEA director of partnerships Scott Beaumont will take on the role from August when Liu leaves.

Liu presided over a period in the search giant's history where relations with China were tepid at best, despite massive growth in the region and an expansion to its bottom line.

Google pulled out of China amid hacking claims by the government in 2010, claims that the ruling party denied. 

Despite hacking claims and tense relations between the company and the government, Google's mobile platform Android has been growing in strength in the region.

But controversy stirred once again when Chinese electronics retailer Alibaba began to push its Linux-based mobile platform Aliyun — in which it dubbed the software the "Android of China" — which saw Google push back just as much.

Reports followed that Google prevented Acer, a partner of Google's in the lightweight (at least in terms of software) Chromebook race, from launching a smartphone running the platform.

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