New Panguso Search Engine Launches in China

Baidu.com Inc. may claim the majority of China’s search industry revenue, but that has not stopped others from attempting to take a chunk out of the Chinese search engine pie. A new search engine, Panguso, has just been released, and its creators promise to provide users with an enriched online search experience. The search engine is also expected to help with the development of new media in China.

Panguso is the result of a joint venture between Xinhua News Agency and China Mobile Ltd., a mobile carrier. As for the search engine’s name, Pangu is a figure in Chinese mythology who is thought to be the creator of the universe and the first living being, and Panguso translates to Pangu Search in English. 

With Panguso, Xinhua and China Mobile hope to not only offer an accurate search service that users can go to to find websites, news, audio/video, and images. For the time being, Panguso will only be available on computers, but over time, China Mobile plans to use its expertise in the mobile arena to make Panguso available on cellular phones.  

Panguso should benefit from the partnership between Xinhua and China Mobile, as each brings different areas of expertise to the table. Xinhua’s extensive experience in providing news and collecting data should bolster the search engine as users turn to it to look for the latest news. Xinhua’s collection of news archives will be available via Panguso; indeed, they are said to be the engine’s main focus upon inception. Panguso’s future promises a wider array of searches that will extend far beyond news, however. China Mobile’s contribution will come in the form of the company’s technology and infrastructure, as well as its expertise in search engine technologies based on cloud computing.

Although Panguso brings a new edge to the search engine market, many hope that it keep its social responsibility as a priority. According to Qian Xiaoqian, China’s Vice Director of the State Council Information Office, Panguso should provide quality searches to Chinese citizens while preventing the spread of illegal content that is pornographic or violent. The expectation seems reasonable, as Xinhua and China Mobile both have solid reputations.

Xinhua’s involvement in the development and launch of the new search engine mark a shift in the company from a traditional media outlet to a multimedia organization. Earlier this year, Xinhua opened its Xinhuanet Industrial Park in Beijing as a hub for new media product development.

Baidu.com’s domination of the Chinese search engine market does not concern those who stand behind Panguso. China has 457 million Internet users that give new companies the opportunity to capitalize off the nation’s immense population. Xinhua’s president, Li Congjun, expressed a positive outlook for Panguso’s future during the search engine’s launch party in Beijing. He believes that Panguso will not only become one of China’s top search engines, but that it will  make an impact on the international level as well.

For more on this topic, visit http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-02/22/c_13744009.htm.

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