Early Reviews of China's State Web Products: Underwhelming

State media outlets People’s Daily, Xinhua and China Central Television are betting on microblogging, search engines and other Internet products for future growth. Some say their deep pockets may help them become legitimate competitors in China’s Internet sector—but until then, there will be plenty of skeptics to win over.

People’s Daily, which Reuters reported Monday may be planning an initial public offering in Shanghai this year, launched a microblogging service last year and a search engine in December called Goso.com, appointing the former head of Google’s research institute in China as its chief scientist last month. Xinhua launched its own search engine, Panguso.com, in February in partnership with China Mobile, and CCTV has been operating an online video platform CNTV since the end of 2009.

“We cannot rule out the possibility that Panguso, like Goso, is a government tool to tighten control of the information search field,” an Internet user said on a Baidu online forum, under the name iaspecjack.

“Google studied how to find information … Baidu later studied how to find only parts of the information … Goso came in the latest and it studies how to not find information,” a user from Guangdong wrote on Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo.

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