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Google China Gives Birth To Life Search

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Google may not always let Chinese citizens search for terms like “democracy,” but it’s apparently got no problems with things such as housing, work, and train tickets; a new Life Search engine available through Google China is tailored to deal with precisely these types of classifications.

Luyi Chen of China Web2.0 Review dubs the new service “a classifieds search engine,” and since his Chinese is likely better than mine, that definition is good enough for me.  “The search results are all from Google Base,” he reports.  “Options and search UI are all identical to Google Base, if you are familiar with it.”

And, despite the amount of time, money, and effort that the search engine giant has funneled into Google Base, Chen still doesn’t see Google’s newest offering in China as a threat to existing engines.  He notes, “Google Base has been there for a while now.  It hasn’t killed many startups.  Neither will Life search, the Chinese version of it.”

Google Blogoscoped has provided a screenshot of Life Search, and of the English translation of the page.  In addition to the categories mentioned earlier, Life Search boasts tabs for “items” and “food,” but, as Chen implies, there’s nothing revolutionary.

Google may need to come up with something impressive if it ever wants to succeed in China; although it’s dominating the American search market (as always), the Mountain View-based company still falls far behind competitor Baidu in China’s corner of the world.

Google China Gives Birth To Life Search
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  • Gaz

    Google will never be successful in China. Why? Because if they are the Chinese will block their site just like they have done to them before. Oh no, they won’t completely block it, its just blocked every 30 seconds or so to make it completely useless. Hardly any of the google features work properly here (cache, images, etc)

    Baidu is a 100% copy of google, everytime google does something baidu copies it in Chinese, and the government renders google useless by blocking it randomly for a few days or weeks.

    No western company will ever be overly successful in China unless they heavily bribe the government so that these things don’t happen. Chinese don’t have to abide by any laws or rules like we do back home, and they will push and push with dirty deniable tactics, don’t forget that.

    Any agreement with the WTO is useless in this situation.

    • JohnnyK

      I spent a few years in China and have just returned home to NYC last month.

      I can say that you are absolutely right, another example is eBay. Taobao is a direct copy of eBay, 100% identical just in Chinese. eBay suffers from the same ‘random filtering’ as google to give taobao an edge in the market. How can we compete with the Chinese when they don’t allow their citizens to open our websites? Once the Chinese company is successful they allow the western company access again and deny everything so that it looks like they are doing the right thing, they’re very sneaky like that.

      Anytime a western company is remotely successful in China, the Chinese copy it, and destroy the original. Thats their game plan. Say what you want about an open market and WTO crap, China will never be open to us, we are only open to them. Why does our government let this happen? Don’t they know what’s going on?

      • Raymond Yao

        Come on, don’t owe google’s lose in China only to the net blocks. The reasons lie in the huge difference between Chinese and English. And the marketing strategies will be the second reason. For instance, Google created its Chinese name so late in 2006 that hindered its brand awareness a lot.
        Baidu had a well known ad in Chinese which publiced its capability in Chinese search engine while google did nothing to fight back.
        And you can also find the same case in Japan, Yahoo grasps over 60% of market share there and google has the left m/s.
        These two cases tell us that if you want to make great success in other country with different culture and language, your leading technology is not the sharpest weapon.

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