When Google Inc formally opened its engineering centre in Beijing yesterday, the Internet search giant also gave itself a Chinese name.
Eric Schmidt (L), Internet giant Google Inc.'s Chief Executive Officer, and Li Kaifu, President of Google China, attend the news conference of the launch of Google's Chinese name in Beijing April 12, 2006. Google said it has adopted the Chinese-language brand name 'GUGE' for its Chinese operations. The Chinese characters in the picture read 'GUGE'. [AP Photo]
Trying to make it easier for Chinese people to use its services, and in turn capture more users, US-based Google said it would also go by the name Gu Ge, which means "song of the harvest of grain."
It is the first time Google, which lags behind in China's Web search market, has given itself a new name in another language.
"Our No 1 goal here by far is to serve Chinese users, who want useful information on the Internet," said Eric Schmidt, Google's chief executive officer.
Schmidt is visiting China with about half of Google's senior executives to have a closer look at the market, after the US giant last September announced its plan for the engineering centre in Beijing.
The centre has recruited about 80 engineering graduates in China, 15 from Google's headquarters in the Silicon Valley, California and five top search scientists from around the world, according to Kai-fu Lee, corporate vice-president and president of Google China.
"Most of our investment is in people," said Schmidt, adding the number of employees will soon grow to "a few thousand" in coming several years.
Google already has another engineering institute in Taipei, but it aims to have increased, larger research facilities in Beijing, Shanghai, and other cities in China.