In the race between Google and Baidu (although Baidu does not seem to admit anything) in the event of Book Search service, it’s Google winning this time.
Google China has just launched a Chinese-language book search service. While it’s not impossible to find books written in Simplified or Traditional Language in the existing Google Book Search service, this one is a specialized tool to handle the knowledge need through online books only in China. So special that this is mentioned in a note that comes after each search results in italics: These results only include works from Mainland China.
Google China says that its book search service is the first of its kind that provides a whole text search which enables Internet users to easily find their most wanted books online — if ever they’re available.
The results are based on the condition that these books are from China, so Google China also displays English results related to search queries as long as they’re published in China and they don’t tackle sensitive issues “detrimental to the pride of the State”.
The book search service is just a sub-category of its search engine and with the further development of search service, there will be more and more sub-category services. This new service shows digitalization is developing very fast in China and it will bring new opportunities to the traditional industries, including the publishing sector.
So what else is new? Whether it is book, a PDF document or any other format, China will have a say on the results and search engines will have to abide. It is explained at Google’s official blog about serving China.
Before this launch Google actually launched the China service in the middle of 2006, but it only targeted English-language books while finding partners. Tsinghua University Publishing House and Juvenile and Children Publishing House became its first batch of partners for the program.
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