When Google released its Google Pinyin (GP), Shanghaiist cheered. But was it really Google’s Pinyin we were cheering for? Let us explain. After last week’s launch, many Chinese users noticed an eerie similarity between GP and Sogou Pinyin, a rival Input method editor developed by search competitor Sohu Inc. A few purposely mistaken and obscure phrases Sogou had embedded in its IME as digital signatures were also found in GP. Coincidence? Apparently not. Today, Google admitted to using “non Google originated data source” in GP version 1.0, and apologized to Sohu for the mistake. GP has since been updated and all “borrowed content” has been removed.
“Non Google generated data source?” We guess it’s Googlespeak for “lifting someone else’s work” Clever, but not particularly effective as a mea culpa. Shanghaiist expected more from Google. We are downloading Sogou Pinyin at this moment.