Home / News Type Content Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Google Finds New Name For Chinese Market
Adjust font size:

Google Inc announced that it has given itself a new name for entry into the Chinese marketplace as it formally opened its new engineering center in Beijing yesterday.

In an effort to make is easier for Chinese people to use its services and attract new users the US-based firm said it would be known as Gu Ge which means "song of the harvest of grain."

It is the first time Google, which lags behind in China's web search market, has given itself a new identity in another language.

"Our No.1 goal here by far is to serve Chinese users who want useful information from the Internet," said Eric Schmidt, Google's chief executive officer.

China overtook the US as the world's largest Internet market in terms of users last week and will "continue to lead the world for many, many, many years," Schmidt pointed out.

Schmidt is visiting China with a group of Google's senior executives to scrutinize the market after the US giant initially announced its Beijing plans last September. 

To get the new operation off the ground Google has recruited about 80 engineering graduates in China, 15 have come from Google's headquarters in Silicon Valley, California and five top computer research scientists from around the world have joined the team, according to Kai-fu Lee, corporate vice-president and president of Google China.

"Most of our investment is in people," said Schmidt. He added that the number of employees would soon grow to "a few thousand" in the coming years.

Google already has another engineering institute in Taipei but it aims to increase research facilities in Beijing, Shanghai and possibly other Chinese cities.

The CEO of the world's most frequently used search engine said the next goal was to have a data center in China in order to speed up services for local customers. Google would then work with local libraries to bring large amounts of information from Chinese books to the Internet.

"Our business in China is not about revenue but about serving end users," said Schmidt in an interview.

Google's major local competitor Baidu, which is listed on the NASDAQ with Google as a small investor, also got its name from a traditional Chinese poem.

The idea behind the use of a Chinese name is to help the company reach more users many of whom don't speak English and have difficulties pronouncing the name. This hinders their use of the search engine.

According to the professional Internet research firm, Shanghai iResearch, revenue from the Web search market in 2005 was 1.04 billion yuan (US$129 million), 82 percent up on 2004.

Web search engine Yahoo! led the market with a combination of search services on three websites operating in China. Baidu ranked second with 26 percent of the pie and Google was the third with 14 percent.

Schmidt acknowledged it was "our mistake" not to come to China earlier which had given Baidu a head start in the market.

All major research organizations interested in the Chinese market rank Baidu as the largest single search engine in China.

A March survey by China Popular Computer Weekly involving 120,000 Internet users showed that more than 60 percent use Baidu while 28 percent chose Google.

Schmidt said some other Internet giants from the US such as Yahoo!, AOL, Amazon and eBay, had difficulties exporting their systems to China because of tough local competition and slow progress to meet local demands. .

"We're often not the first in the market but we often grow more quickly," he said.

(China Daily April 13, 2006)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- Google China President: Why I Left Microsoft
- Baidu Gains Search Engine Market Share
- Google Launches Local Search Site
- Lee Starts Job as Boss of Google in China
- Microsoft, Google Reach Agreement on Employee Dispute
- China Has First-class Software Talents
- Google Censors Its New Website
- Google Launches China Web
- Has Google Sneaked into China Without a License?
Most Viewed >>
- World's longest sea-spanning bridge to open
- Yao out for season with stress fracture in left foot
- 141 seriously polluting products blacklisted
- China starts excavation for world's first 3G nuclear plant
- Irresponsible remarks on Hu Jia case opposed 
- 'The China Riddle'
- China, US agree to step up constructive,cooperative relations
- FIT World Congress: translators on track
- Christianity popular in Tang Dynasty
- Factory fire kills 15, injures 3 in Shenzhen

Product Directory
China Search
Country Search
Hot Buys