A new Chinese language search engine, ChinaSo.com, was launched in Beijing on Friday, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua.
The online search engine’s creation reiterates China’s ambitions to compete in the global search engine market, at present dominated by Google.
ChinaSo (So meaning search) was developed by an information technology company founded by a group of China’s main media providers, including state television and the People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency and China Central Television.
The new search engine is an amalgamation of Jike.com, founded in 2010 by the People’s Daily, and Panguso.com, founded by Xinhua in 2011. Both brands did not do well; with poor brand recognition blamed for their failure to attract a large enough user base to compete with other search engine providers.
The market share of both Jike.com and Panguso .com was only 0.4% in January this year, compared to China’s biggest search engine, Baidu.com, which had a 58% share of the market, according to the Global Times report.
It is hoped that ChinaSo.com will be a strong enough brand to outdo the performance of its predecessors.
It will provide online users with the opportunity to search for news stories and websites with sixteen channels ranging from news to sports to economics. There will also be a map and video service, with an application for downloading onto mobile devices.
Google, the world’s biggest online search provider, withdrew its services from China in 2010 because of a disagreement over censorship.
But have a look at ChinaSo.com’s colourful logo. Remind you of anything? Yes, there are certainly shades of Google there. Maybe ChinaSo has bigger ambitions than rivalling just Baidu.
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