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Google China Tied To Tianya, New Q&A Site

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Google’s taking another shot at a question and answer service, and this time the product has appeared in China.  Tianya.cn is closely involved with the effort, and in related news, reports indicate that Google may have acquired as much as a 60 percent stake in the company.

The word “may” only relates to the percentage; Reuters states that Google has already confirmed some sort of deal.  And as Bill Bishop writes on the billsdue blog, “Google appears to be using Tianya’s registration system, which gives them at least two benefits,” the first of which is “seamless access to Tianya’s 20m+ registered users.”

That could be a huge help in the battle against Baidu (China’s leading search provider).  From more of a PR angle, Bishop lists the second advantage as the “deniability of evil when the Chinese government requests user info, since technically the info is held not by Google but by Tianya.”  There’s no telling if Google will actually act in this manner, but it is possible.

In any event, the new Q&A site appears to be doing well; from what I can see, most questions are getting viewed and answered numerous times.  Also, this deal doesn’t come as much of a shock – we saw an “answers”-type service launch in Russia not too long ago, and just last week, Kai-Fu Lee, the president of Google China, expressed a desire to acquire and invest in more companies.

Lee spoke about one or two acquisitions, and as many as four or five investments, however, so stay on the lookout for more Google-related news from China.

Google China Tied To Tianya, New Q&A Site
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