Google Blogoscoped

Friday, April 18, 2008

Google’s Special China Page and Its Helper Cartoon

Maybe Google’s “Cliply” was only an easter egg (see previous post), but Google does have a help avatar on a homepage variant of theirs in China. The cartoon figure is called 小谷, which can be losely translated to “small valley” or “little Goo” (as “xiǎo gǔ” reuses a part of Google’s Chinese name). Little Goo gives tips on how to use Google search, e.g. how to bring up weather or calculator onebox results. You can click the [x] in the thought bubble to make Goo go away... but the helper returns next time you load the page. Perhaps Lil’ Goo and Clippy are distant cousins or something.

What’s this special Chinese homepage anyway? We mentioned it before, but it’s not Google’s main page when accessing in China (that honor goes to another page). Rather, I have reason to believe the page is set to be the default homepage in some internet cafes in China as part of a certain deal Google struck. One Chinese blogger who likes to remain anonymous tells me Google might not have paid enough though, as sometimes games sites like are default in net bars. Internet cafe operators only have low basic salary but have a share in the profits, the source says, indicating that while is a student, Ztgame is godfather.

[Thanks Ken Wong and Tony!]


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