Feeds

Google throws cash around China

Hides American roots

Top three mobile application threats

The world's most popular search engine doesn't like playing second fiddle in the world's most populous country. As it struggles to keep pace with the home-grown Baidu in the Chinese search market, Google has invested in "four or five" China-based web sites, including a user-driven destination called Tianya.cn.

Last week, Kai-Fu Lee, president of Google China, bragged about these recent investments in a conversation with The Shanghai Daily. "Globally, we just typically do more investments than we do acquisitions," he said. But he refused to reveal which sites were involved, saying merely that they were "in the fields of search, entertainment, the online community and others."

This morning, however, Google confirmed its stake in Tianya, announcing that the Chinese site is offering two new services powered by Google technology. The company wouldn't give details on the investment, but a spokesperson tossed us a few words on the new services.

The first, Tianya Laiba, is an "an online community where people can connect with friends and share content," while the other, Tianya Wenda, "allows people to ask questions and receive answers from others." We give Google immense credit on both these services - if only because they avoided using the term "social networking."

It seems that Google is struggling to keep pace in the Chinese market simply because it's an American company. Based on a study by the research arm of Enquiro, a search engine marketing firm, the Chinese version of Google significantly outperformed Baidu, but it's nowhere near as popular. In the second quarter, according to research outfit Analysis International, Google handles 23 per cent of Chinese search traffic, compared with Baidu's 58 per cent.

Investing in Chinese sites, rather than acquiring them, may be a way for Google to tackle this rapidly-growing market while appearing a little less like an outsider. The company was adamant that two services it announced today are not Google services - merely "Google-powered services." "Tianya is responsible for the day-to-day operation of Tianya Laiba and Tianya Wenda," is the word from Mountain View. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.