Feeds

Google throws cash around China

Hides American roots

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

A new approach to endpoint data protection

More from The Register

next story
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
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.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?