Google’s Schmidt on why he would bet on India over China, privacy of internet users and more

On the second day of his India trip, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt addressed delegates at the Google’s Big Tent event held in New Delhi.

In an on-stage interview with Alan Rusbridger, Editor of The Guardian, Schmidt spoke about various topics ranging from cyber privacy and security to future of mobile devices as a platform for internet consumption and why he would favour Twitter in comparison with Facebook.

Schmidt started out by giving numbers on internet penetration status in India currently. “With approximately 600 million mobile users, 130 million Internet users, 20 million broadband users, by any definition India is under penetrated currently,” he said. Here his views on other issues.

On internet restrictions and cyber privacy in India

Internet security is a big issue and with the growth of internet it is natural for firms to aggregate data on the users via the cloud which is why it is important for government to have in place some strict cyber laws. It is important for Indian government to respect right of privacy of citizens.

On Google’s role in aiding the transfer of sensitive data

If you let us record details, we can serve you better, but you don’t HAVE to do it, we have provision for anonymous surfing.

On rumours that he would be quitting Google soon since he is selling 40% of his stake

“Completely false. Google is my home,” he said. He added that he was merely diversifying investment. And continuing with his amazing sense of humour, he added that he doesn’t plan to take up a government job either.

On when will we see Google Now on iPhone

Well, it’s a question that you should ask Apple. They did approve Google apps. Google Now is yet to figure in the iOS app store.

On why no Nexus devices come to India

Schmidt skirted this one too. Without dwelling much on it, he simply said Google would be working to get these devices to India soon.

On mobile advertising and whether Google is able to reinvent the magic on mobile medium

The reason why mobile advertising should be more rewarding is that we have more information on the user. He stated that there is no reason to believe that mobile is not doing well as a medium for advertising. “We know it because the advertisers come back to us. Part of Google’s success is because we showed advertising can be science as well as an art”.

The session ended in a fun rapid fire round

Schmidt in the rapid-fire round

Kindle or Blackberry?- Blackberry, I use blackberry so that’s my vote.

Facebook or Twitter? Twitter has a different model, FB is in transition (Though, I don’t know what they are transitioning to)

Amazon or Apple? They are both going to do well. Amazon has proved itself on all counts.

iPad Mini or iPad? I have both but definitely iPad (iPad Mini is too small)

India or China? In short term India, the math favours India & I am a mathematician

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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