Just a few days after Google first threatened to leave China, this lil’ shanzhai site popped up. The title, Goojje is a pun. The jje part of it sounds like “jie jie (姐姐)” or sister, which mirrors how Google’s last syllables sound like “ge ge (哥哥)” or brother. Goojje is also a search engine and offers some sort of social networking service and BBS.
While Reuters article says that “Goojje began vying with Google on January 14,” but it’s pretty obvious from the page layouts and the site’s manifesto (of sorts) that it has no plans really to vie with anyone. We’d pin it as more of an elaborate performance art piece.
Says the front page of the site, placed right after a list of “hot topics” that include stuff like “Goojje mentioned in foreign news” and “How Goojje appears on brother Baidu and Google,” is this statement:
Goojje was born for peace, this internet world has become harmonious because of Goojje’s appearance, with Goojje the brothers won’t be lonely.
Goojje ‘s one person team is too weak, we need your help, love Goojje, please share Goojje with friends.
A previous version of the front page apparently said, “Sister was very happy when brother gave up the thought of leaving and stayed for sister,” referring to the won’t it will it stance Google must’ve had at the time.
Elaborating on Goojje’s purpose, the mysterious figure behind Goojje (said to be a Guangdong female college student) says in the Goojje BBS:
The reason I made Goojje, besides because brother (Google) was leaving, is to complete a harmonious dream. I hope Goojje can bring every piece of happiness to everyone, hope Goojje can accompany you through every lonely season… I hope Goojje can help everybody understand the internet’s news.
Right after that, she calls for netizens’ help developing the platform – we guess that means it’s an ongoing open source project… and one we’ll be keeping an eye on. Considering the net nanny’s distaste for any type of mass online movement, it can’t be long before this call for “harmony” gets “harmonized” itself.