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January 11, 2006

Microsoft launches beta Chinese search engine

Posted by David Hunter at 10:33 AM ET.

Li Xinran at the Shanghai Daily:

MSN’S Chinese Website will soon launch its own search engine, a Beijing-based newspaper reported today.

The Beta version of the Chinese MSN search will be available at The launch of the new search engine will be decided by feedback from the test run, Luo Chuan, director of Microsoft MSN’s China business, told Beijing Business Today.

Currently Yahoo! is the search function provider of

No ads as yet that I could see, but they will be coming after it launches.

Speaking of China, the bad press for Microsoft continues for closing down the MSN Spaces blog of a Chinese journalist:

Media watchdog blasts Microsoft for China censorship:

“The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemns the Chinese authorities for censoring well-known blogger Zhao Jing, and is alarmed by Microsoft’s agreement to pull down his site,” the group said in a statement received here Tuesday.

Zhao, whose on-line pen name is Michael Anti, had his site on Microsoft’s China-based MSN Spaces hosting service deleted on December 30 after he wrote about the government’s removal of top editors at the Beijing News newspaper.

Internet companies ‘must respect free speech’:

IT companies operating in countries with repressive regimes should face tighter regulation when it comes to supporting freedom of speech, according to a leading anti-censorship organisation.

Press freedom group Reporters without Borders issued a report late last week calling on the US government and US regulators to help develop a voluntary code of conduct for IT companies operating in countries such as China, Tunisia and Burma.

The Reporters without Borders press release calls out the blog incident and has more details.

Update: MSN China is actually a joint venture:

May 11, 2005 — MSN, the online services division of Microsoft Corp., today announced it has formed a joint venture with Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd. (SAIL) to launch MSN China. The newly formed entity Shanghai MSN Network Communications Technology Company Ltd., which received approval from Chinese government agencies, is set to deliver popular and innovative MSNĀ® products and services to consumers throughout China.

Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd. is the investment company of Jiang Mianheng, the son of a former president of China.

Filed under Advertising, Beta and CTP, General Business, Governmental Relations, MSN, MSN Search, Public Relations, adCenter

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5 Responses to “Microsoft launches beta Chinese search engine”

  1. UnlimitedSearchenginesBlog Says:

    MSN Chinese Search Launches

    According to Microsoft News Tracker, Microsoft started beta service of chinese search engine.Microsoft News Tracker » Microsoft launches beta Chinese search engineThis probably results from the cooparation with Basis Technology, the company which…

  2. Microsoft News Tracker » Microsoft Invited to Congressional Hearings on China Censorship Says:

    [...] Much more by following the link, but they are apparently taking the recommendations in the Reporters without Borders report that I mentioned yesterday as a starting point for legislation. Filed under Governmental Relations, General Business   [Permalink] [...]

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    [...] So, instead of tweaking Windows Live Search to spiff up indexing of illicit music files, but never find any criticism of the Red Chinese government, why not go with a proven winner like Baidu? It probably doesn’t hurt either that MSN China is actually a joint venture of Microsoft with the next best thing to the Red Chinese government. Filed under Coopetition, Governmental Relations, General Business, Windows Live, Windows Live Search, Microsoft, Baidu [...]

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    [...] MSN China is actually a joint venture between Microsoft and Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd. (SAIL) a firm which if not exactly government owned, is “extremely well connected.” Now Stephen Bink reports that SAIL wants out of the deal: [...]

  5. Microsoft buys full control of MSN Israel | Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] variants are in Australia (partner is the Nine Network which we mentioned last week) and in China where the original quasi-governmental partner, Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd., has been trying to unload it’s 50%, most recently to The9 Ltd., although despite some [...]

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