Google Marks April Fool’s Day in China

The Google April Fool’s Day joke has become something of a tradition at this time of the year, even in China.

Last year, Google (GOOG) posted a mock recruitment ad for a Google “human flesh search engine” (here in Chinese). This year, the Internet giant announced the launch of a new service in China: the “Google Pigeon Bird’s Eye View.” Similar in concept to Google Street View, Google says the new service will be used to improve the image resolution on Google Earth and Google Maps, while also embracing China’s vibrant “shanzhai” culture.

The project’s mission: to collect all sorts of shanzhai information about shanzhai celebrities, shanzhai places to go on a date, shanzhai innovations and shanzhai terms.

Google says that the new service aims to help “everyone can enjoy the benefit of shanzhai culture.” An exact total of 31,415,926 pigeons have been trained as “Google pigeons” (in Mandarin, “Google pigeon,” ?? guge, is a pun on Google’s similar sounding Chinese name, ??). The birds will be equipped with high-tech devices including a blue hat with GPRS and head massaging capabilities, a Chinese-style chest covering to hold CADIE chips (a reference to another Google spoof).

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