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Rediff.com  » Business » China's media launches search engine to rival Google

China's media launches search engine to rival Google

December 21, 2010 15:47 IST
GoogleAfter taming Google into submission, China has launched a new search engine of its own to make foray into its 420 million strong net users' market, a move believed to be aimed at taking firm control of the web media.

Known as 'Goso.cn', China's very own search engine has been launched by the country's largest newspaper the People's Daily, which is the official daily of the ruling Communist Party of China.

The state-run media already holds sway over the country where the flow of information is tightly controlled, and the move to introduce its own search engine signifies its aim to take control of the web media as well.

The move came as blog news is catching up fast posing a direct challenge to the hold of official media in the country.

Google was involved in a face-off with the Chinese government in March this year after it shut down its Chinese search engine and re-routed mainland users to its uncensored site in Hong Kong, protesting cyber attacks.

Google, which resisted attempts of censorship for many months later gave in and got its license to operate in China renewed only after it agreed to abide by all restrictions.

Months later, the country's largest newspaper has launched a news search engine which came after six months of trial operations, state-run English dailies the China Daily and Global Times reported.

The launch of the People Search Engine is part of authorities' efforts to enhance the CPC international communication capacity, Zhang Yannong, president of People's Daily, said.

Given the fact that most of the rules and regulations of the information industry were set by foreign companies, and that several countries view development of the Internet as part of their national strategies, China must develop a search engine with independent technology, thus creating a good Internet environment for 420 million, China Daily quoted a 'netizen' Zhang as saying.

"The search engine is an Internet tool that obviously has ideological characteristics," he said.

Deng Yaping, general manager of Goso Network Limited, said Goso.cn is a vertical search engine product that integrates news, news forums, pictures, blogs, videos and micro blogs.

Since its renewal, Google operated on a low profile in China and Google Earth Maps did not even take part in the bidding, leaving the floor open to mostly local competitors.

China has already launched its own version of earth maps which showed Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet.

Goso.cn is expected to go after local search engine Baidu.com, which expanded it operations taking full advantage of Google's problems.

K J M Varma in Beijing
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