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The trial Web site, which went live on March 2, is the latest addition to Google's Chinese search engine, Google.cn. As part of ongoing efforts to attract more Chinese Internet users to Google.cn, which limits search results to satisfy Chinese government censors, the company has been adding more features to the site.
Google has been working on the Chinese book search service since the middle of last year. At that time, Chinese media reported the company had struck deals with four publishers to scan their books for the search engine.
Book search sounds like a useful addition. If Google is adding content unavailable via Baidu then that's a big plus.
I would be interested to hear whether all of these new feature additions are getting the same amount of press on the Chinese language side. Is this having an effect on people and getting them to take a second look at Google.cn?
Web search leader Google Inc. and its top rival in China Baidu.com Inc. are racing to build out their online library services as they battle for a slice of the world's second-largest Internet market.
Baidu has already secured a strategic partnership with Peking University Library in Beijing, one of Asia's largest academic libraries, in preparation for the launch of its online book service, publishing and Internet sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday.
Baidu race to set up online library in China [uk.reuters.com]