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China starts its search engine game

One Chinese software company announces a campaign to beat U.S.-based search engine giant Google; another plans to expand overseas.

A Chinese software company has announced a campaign to beat U.S.-based search engine giant Google.

Huicong International Software's search tool, which covers 200 million Chinese-language Web pages, has incorporated topic categorization, content analysis and China-region recognition into its engine, according to the company.

A unique feature is the ability of the tool to suggest corrections to incorrectly spelled pinyin, a method of using the Western alphabet for Chinese script.

Also, the tool can search MP3s, pictures and Flash animations, claimed Chen Pei, Huicong's CEO.

"Huicong will devote itself to the research and development of Chinese search engines to realize the dream of China's own Google," said Chen.

The company is part of the 300 or so Web portals that make up the China Search Alliance, a group that aims to challenge global search giants such as Google.

Meanwhile, another China search engine, 3721 Technology, plans to expand overseas. The Beijing-based online search company, which reaches about 60 million Web users has considered a listing in Hong Kong, Singapore or New York, company CEO Zhou Hongyi, said in a report.

The company forged a deal to embed its search service in Microsoft's Internet browser software released in China last year, that enabled its users type only a few Chinese characters directly into the browser address line to find information.

Thanks the Chinese text auto-completion feature, Zhou said in a report, it is unnecessary for search users with poor English to remember Web addresses for Google and Sina sites.

CNETAsia staff reported from Singapore.