Chinese government builds its own 'ChinaSo' search engine

Merger of failures will struggle to beat even Google's tiny middle kingdom market share


The Chinese government is having another pop at the local search market after merging two previous failures into a new service, dubbed ChinaSo.

The search engine has risen from the ashes of Jike, launched three years ago by Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily, and Panguso, which was launched by Xinhua in the same year, according to QQ.com (via Global Times).

It’s thought that People’s Daily deputy editor-in-chief, Ma Li, will serve as president while Xinhua VP Zhou Xisheng will take control as CEO of ChinaSo.

Users of Jike and Panguso will now be redirected to a beta version of the site which is already live and, with multi-coloured logo lettering, bears more than a passing resemblance to Google.

Users can search images, videos, maps, news, finance and other categories, with future services potentially including social, shopping, food and even one called "military".

The new entrant's chances of making a dent in the Chinese search market look slim, as data from market-watcher CNZZ revealed its very much a three horse race between long-time leader Baidu (60 per cent), up-and-coming security, browser and portal biz Qihoo 360 (25 per cent) and Sogou (13 per cent).

The chasing pack far behind is led by Google (1.7 per cent), but it’s difficult to see how ChinaSo can succeed where the Jike and Panguso brands singularly failed to get much recognition.

As El Reg mentioned back in 2012, Jike never really managed to carve out a unique differentiator for itself, despite having former ping pong world champion Deng Yaping as its CEO.

That said, however, it could still manage to edge out Google in the Middle Kingdom, given the Chocolate Factory's performance over the past few years. ®


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