haven't you heard... new stuff outta asia is automatically not intersting. ;) :p lol
but really... I like it better. The korean g directory is still misery and more useless than my belly button lint.
interesting they chose China to do it first...probably indicative of China's size and focus towards that market and uniqueness of the Korean one where a totally different approach needs to be taken.
again, though... on the "Google portal" thing
you got a much slicker directory in China...the shak man says they got tons in the pipeline (as they certainly do here in Korea as well with their new research center), they tried the new "cooler" image search (which flopped but still...), they are offering 2.8gb non-invite gmail accounts in korea and ajaxing things up, they have been playing with a combined search results page (ala Korean "combined SERP"). plus they have their normal array of extras (including their online applications)...
just slap it all into one page, finally ad some asia-fide design... launch in asia (korea or maybe China) where no one really notices or cares even if they do...
and BAMM! you have an instant Google portal (proper) and competitor to local portal players that they can tweek, and play with without causing an uproar to all the "just search" purists back Stateside.
with baidu in China, maybe they will stay the simple route.. but I don't see why not "portal-up" out here in Korea where they play around and not effect their miniscule market... (make it choice for users). if it sucks, then no biggy.. people love it...well then..there you go.
heck might even have a few koreans use it for things other than western pr0n and "not-royalty free, royalty-free" image searches, and a file dump (2.8gb! goooo gmail korea!). =P
er... don't mind ... too much coffee.