Looking to have your internet regulated even more by the government? No problem because People’s Daily, the highly controlled state run newspaper, just announced the launch of its new online search engine “Jike”.
While the term jike’s actual meaning is “immediate”, People’s Daily reports that it “also chose the name because it sounds like ‘geek’ in English, ‘representing a computer expert or enthusiast.'”
Leading this ambitious operation is none other than former Olympic ping-pong star Deng Yaping, because hey, why not.
According to Deng Yaping, the website has gone out of its way to gain the support of Chinese youth:“the company changed its name and its logo – which is comprised of blue and yellow geometric blocks that make up a Tang Dynasty puzzle – to make it appeal more to young people, who will be Jike’s target users.”
Keeping in line with its chic new look, the Wall Street Journal wrote that the opening launch ceremony
“was hipper than one might expect from a state media company, ditching the typical parade of long speeches by bureaucrats in favor of a contemporary dance performed by two women in shiny cat suits”.
Nice try Jike, but we all know Tang dynasty puzzles and cat suits are soooo 2007.
As for functionality and layout, Jike is exactly the same as any other search engine. It has the ever so familiar basic logo in the middle with search bar directly underneath. The only thing that it does differently is that it un-surprisingly censors anything you search. For example, when we searched the words “Ai wei wei” there were no mentions of his arrest or disappearance, but by coincidence, the second item that comes up is his supposed “plagiarism” of another artists work.
Criticism aside, Jike actually does have at least one interesting feature that sets itself apart from its western equivalents. If you type the pinyin of any word into the search bar, it will automatically give you a list of appropriate characters as well as the possible English meanings for the pinyin you entered. Kind of cool, right? (It should be mentioned that Baidu does this too, with varying success).
Eh, we’ll just stick to Google….
By Patrick Keefe