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Ask Jeeves Inc., a U.S.-based internet search engine operator, will open an office for research and development in China this week, Ask Jeeves PR Director Patrick Crisp told Interfax.
"International expansion is an important component to Ask Jeeves growth strategy and naturally expansion into China is a consideration," Crisp said.
The company's new R&D facility will be located in the city of Hangzhou, capital of eastern China's Zhejiang Province. However, Crisp said that this new R&D center did not necessarily indicate if Ask Jeeves would be launching a version of its online search services for the Mainland China market.
"It is too early and premature for us to determine when a consumer search offering will be available for China's Internet market," Crisp said.
Ask Jeeves has a very slow and methodical approach to markets in Asia, if their Japan offering is anything to go by. Their operations in Japan started off with a joint venture with TransCosmos and they limited themselves to internal corporate search market for several years before opening a public SE. If they take the same tack in China it's doubtful we'll see anything before 2010. ;)
Given Google's stock price, Yahoo's profitability, and MSN's potential move into both search and PPC advertising, I think they are trying to leverage Teoma as much as possible. I've also seen rumors of a name change [battellemedia.com] in the future.
I think that we'll see a lot of action from them over the next year.
I agree that Ask is a much more active player today, but their entry into the China market will probably not be very much faster than what we're seeing from Google and Yahoo. China does have a bureaucracy that has to be sated, otherwise I'm sure SEs like Google would already be running full blown operations over there. I'm betting it's going to take several years for Ask in China...but I'd be happy to be proved wrong. ;)
We expect a full report Shak. :)