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Kai-Fu Lee sets out Google China's 2008 roadmap
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"For Google China, 2008 is going to be the year of popularization," Kai-Fu Lee, president of Google Greater China, told China Business News last week.

Li recalled that Google China was created in 2005, began recruitment in 2006, and spent 2007 on product localization. Google renews its strategy every twelve months and the roadmap for 2008 will concentrate on the popularization of its products.

With regard to Google China's recent development and the battle with Baidu, Mr. Lee said that Google had concentrated on improving search engine quality last year. Surveys indicate that Google's Chinese search engine is the best on the market, but users cannot always see the difference. Google is exploring the real needs of the marketplace, and speeding up development to make its offering more user friendly.

"Actually, there is huge scope for further development of search engine technology," Mr. Lee said. "We are just at the beginning. The perfect search engine would deliver a single answer to a question, not a million answers. Google will continue its 12-month plans until we realize this goal."

Google has devoted a lot of resources to research and development. In the past twelve months it has created an integrated search engine covering 12 kinds of information in addition to web pages, including news, pictures, maps and videos. Google now offers 21 different Chinese-language search services on the Internet, including a personalized search.

Google plans to extend the 12 kinds of information covered by its integrated search to 30 or 50 in the next twelve months. Using the integrated search facility users will be able to search information in dozens of different formats with a single question.

"Vertical search will finally be incorporated into the integrated search," Mr. Lee said. Vertical search services will be integrated into Google's search services in the future and Google will continue with the integration of more diversified search services.

Another important task facing Google in the coming twelve months is to break through the Internet's language barriers. 90 percent of the information on the Internet is non-Chinese, and Google China has set itself the goal of making foreign-language web pages available to Chinese users through machine translation.

He said that the roadmap for Google's Chinese-language search is to continue towards an integrated search engine. The following phase will be to extend it from its PC base to cellphones, televisions and other devices. Nearly 70 percent of the engineers at Google China are working on this project and are receiving support from engineers in the 40 Google engineering institutes worldwide.

(China.org.cn by Wang Wei, July 8, 2008)

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