Intellectual Property

"My job in China is to kick Google's ass"

There's been quite a buzz about search engines and China in the last few weeks.

Reuters: China's search engines to take on Google

China's homegrown Internet search firms say they are upgrading technology in a bid to take on Google just weeks after the search giant's foray into a market seen worth some $100 million (55 million pounds) in 2004.

The three main domestic players are Baidu.com, styled after Google, Yahoo subsidiary3721.com and Zhongsou.com, which powers search services at three Nasdaq-listed Internet firms ... Google, the world's largest search engine, rolled out Chinese-language ad services in February and is expected to launch a closely-watched initial public offering this year.

"My job in China is to kick Google's ass," said Zhou Hongyi, the bespectacled founder and chief executive of 3721 Network Software, that was bought by Yahoo for $120 million in cash last November

Tom.com, summarized in English by Pacific Epoch: China's Search Engines To Battle With Google

China's Internet search market will be worth US$100 million in 2004 according to analysts quoted in a Tom.com report. According to the report China's three biggest search engines are Baidu.com, Yahoo!'s 3721.com, and Zhongsou.com. All three are reportedly profitable. While Google launched its Chinese language advertising service in February, 3721's CEO Zhou Hongyi, Zhongsou's Bo Chen, and Baidu's Robin Lee all seem ready to do battle with Google – in Baidu and Zhongsou's cases company representatives seem unwilling to consider the possibility of a Google buyout. Baidu began generating profits last year and approximately 80 percent of last year's sales came from paid-listings.

There's more on danwei about Google's Chinese language push here.

But enough about the money, let's look at design. Here is Google's famous interface:

googleface.jpg

Here's is Baidu's interface.

baiduface.jpg

It's really great that a profitable company invests time, energy and creativity into coming up with a wholly original design.

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