Google aims for more growth in China

Google is giving its local managers more autonomy and investing more in China in an effort to make up for its late entry and take the lead in the industry, CEO Eric Schmidt said, quoted by an Associated Press report, said.

'We are catching up. Our investment is working and we will eventually be the leader,' Schmidt, quoted by the report, also said.

The Associated Press report said Google has 22% of China's search market, well behind industry leader Baidu.com Inc., which has 55 %, according to market data company iResearch Inc.

Schmidt said Google was gaining market share but he declined to give figures, only expressing confidence that its greater financial and technical resources would help close the gap, the Associated Press report said.

The reoprt said Baidu'sfirst-quarter profits more than doubled on strong traffic growth and higher advertising revenues.

Google came to China after other Internet services such as Yahoo, launching its China-based search site, Google.cn, in January 2006. Google opened a Beijing research center one year ago, the report said.

Schmidt said Google plans to give its China operation, led by Kai-Fu Lee, a former Microsoft VP, greater autonomy to develop new products and respond to the local market, the report further said.

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