Within days of renewing the license for Google, the Chinese government has put the state-run Xinhua news agency on the job of creating a major search engine. The proposed search engine will prove to be a serious rival for Google and the local portal Baidu as it is being created jointly by Xinhua and China Mobile Communications Corp., the world's biggest mobile operator by subscribers.
Google's license seemed to be in jeopardy last May when it was engaged in a serious face-off with the Chinese government after announcing plans to resist requests to censor search results. But the government eventually renewed Google's license. The latest move for establishing a new search engine using the massive resources of Xinhua and China Mobile could be a serious challenge to its status as the leading search engine in China.
The official stamp of approval was evident when four senior officials--Yang Xueshan, vice minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Huang Danhua, deputy director of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, He Ping, Xinhua editor in chief and China Mobile chairmanWang Jianzhou-attended the signing ceremony on Thursday for creating the search engine company.
The new company, called "Search Engine New Media International Communications Co.," will also develop other businesses in the field of Internet, print media and advertising, said Zhou Xisheng, vice president of Xinhua, said.
"Search engines, which have powerful information integration abilities, play an increasingly important role in disseminating information and influencing public opinion," the official media quoted Zhou as saying. The joint venture will make full use of advanced search technologies and recruit world-class talent to offer quality services to customers from home and abroad,
A China Mobile said the joint venture will make use of the respective advantages of the two sides to provide attractive and competitive products. There was no announcement about when the new company will actually launch the search engine.