Jike.com: Will the revamped search engine provide the most natural results?

Jike.com: Will the revamped search engine provide the most natural results?

China re-brands its state-run search engine Jike.com with national sports hero Deng Yaping at the helm
Deng yapping
Led by former ping-pong superstar Deng Yaping, Jike.com is taking on Baidu, currently the top search engine in China. (LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Earlier this week, China's state-run company People’s Search announced the re-launch of its search engine Jike.com (即刻搜索).

Formerly named Goso.cn, the search engine was first launched by People’s Search, a joint venture between People’s Daily and People.com, in May 2010.

The head of People’s Search is Deng Yaping (邓亚萍), one of China’s most successful athletes.

The 38-year-old former ping-pong player has won 18 international championships for China and was appointed as the deputy secretary of the Communist Youth League Beijing Municipal Committee, before stepping up as the general manager of People’s Search last September.

Deng considers this re-branding a key step in People’s Search’s move toward marketization. Although the site initially needs to be funded by the government, its ultimate goal, according to Deng, is to enter the free market.

We need to pick up the correct information instead of those that will mislead netizens— Liu Jun, chief scientist of Jike.com

“Currently, we’re trying to build a good working environment and recruit talents,” Deng said. “[Through] learning from successful Internet examples such as Baidu and Google, we are trying to find our own beat.”

People’s Search’s chief scientist Liu Jun says that although none of the search results on Jike.com are commercially-driven at the moment, the company will highlight advertisements from natural search results in the future.

Having previously worked for Google as its worldwide technical director, Liu hopes to set Jike.com apart from commercially-driven search engines by providing the most natural search results to its users.

“We need to pick up the correct information instead of those that will mislead netizens,” Liu said during an interview with People.com.

Jike.com shares a similar interface to Google and Baidu, with its logo shaped as a set of tangram. The three colors -- blue, yellow and black -- represent sky, sunshine and sensitivity respectively.

The word ji ke means "immediate" in Chinese. It also sounds like "geek" in English. However, according to Jiefang Daily, Chinese netizens would rather interpret it as "needy" or "thirsty" as they all share the same pinyin spelling.

Apart from Jike.com, the other Chinese state-run search engine is Panguso.com, which is run by a joint venture between Xinhua News agency and China Mobile.