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Yahoo and Google battle for Chinese Internet surfers
Yahoo launched its search website, Yisou, for Chinese Internet users on Monday, less than a week after archrival Google announced that it was investing in Baidu.com.
Yisou, which means “Number One Search,” will be powered by Yahoo’s own search technology and will tightly integrate with other Yahoo offerings such as Yahoo Mail and Messenger.
Last week, Google announced that it was taking a stake in Baidu, which claims to be China’s number one search engine. This move came two months after Yahoo dropped Baidu as its search engine provider and started using its own search technology.
Both Google and Yahoo appear to be vying to take a big slice of the estimated 80 million Internet users in China.
While Google’s search technology has sometimes run afoul of China’s censor system, the new alliance with Baidu probably means that it will more closely toe the Communist Party’s Internet policies.
And Yahoo has always been keen to follow the dictates of Chinese Internet censorship – when it entered the Chinese Internet market a couple of years back, it voluntarily signed a pledge to keep its Chinese website free of material that might be deemed “politically offensive.” The document includes promises to avoid "disseminating pernicious information that may jeopardize state security and disrupt social stability."
In this case, foreign investment, rather than freeing Chinese users and promoting free thought, appears to acquiesce to the communist regime's strategy to keep a tight rein on its people.
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