The Chinese State Enters Online Search

Plans to build a search engine by China Mobile Communications and Xinhua News Agency mark at least the second time China’s state-run media have tried to enter the online search market.

Xinhua, in a news story about itself, said Thursday it signed a framework agreement with China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier by subscribers, to launch a search joint venture. It will “make full use” of Xinhua’s position in media content and China Mobile’s user base, Xinhua said, suggesting the venture will also promote Xinhua news articles.

The move comes after the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party, in June launched a beta search engine, dubbed “People’s Search” in Chinese. The search engine has a snappier and perhaps more capitalistic English name, Goso, which might sound to a bilingual listener like “go search,” since the sound “so” means “search” in Chinese. (The newspaper’s online portal also offers a Chinese microblog service, called “People’s Microblog.”)

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