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Ask.com launching Chinese version in 2 yrs

     
1:12 am on Nov 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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IAC's Diller sees Ask.com launching Chinese version in 2 yrs [marketwatch.com]

IAC/Interactive Corp. is likely to start a Chinese version of its Ask.com search engine within two years, company Chief Executive Barry Diller said Friday.

Diller told reporters the U.S. Internet company will seek to partner with a local newspaper or other media outlet to introduce Ask.com to China, mirroring a strategy used to bring the search engine to the U.K. and other European markets.

Given Ask's less than stellar performance in the Japanese SE market I'm not going to be too surprised to see Ask China perform in much the same manner.

1:21 am on Nov 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Here's another report [money.cnn.com] with more details.

...Barry Diller said Friday his Internet conglomerate, IAC/InterActiveCorp, will invest $100 million to expand in China by creating services designed for local users.

...IAC is looking for opportunities to develop or buy businesses geared to Chinese users, Diller said. He said it wants to avoid the fate of Internet outfits that have struggled in China with offerings developed for the United States and other foreign markets.

It goes on to tell how they learned hard lessons from their previous foray into China and that this time they're focusing on developing or buying indigenous sites and services instead of importing them from the United States.

5:29 am on Nov 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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That's a bit more encouraging. It certainly took them a while to learn that lesson though. They've had a presence in Japan since at least around 2000. That's a loooong time in Internet years.
7:45 am on Nov 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Right, it's like a bottom up approach, much like buying YouTube or Flickr over building it yourself. Even Google was, initially, a bottom up event, as was Yahoo and their directory.

Building something that sticks isn't easy, eh?

10:01 am on Nov 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You've got that right. ;)
This looks more like an investment strategy then as opposed to what they've done in Japan and other markets. They're not looking to be the next big Chinese SE...they're just making sure they have a toehold in the market.

Looks like a good time to be a native Chinese startup, doesn't it?