Google revealed that it had acquired a stake in Chinese community web site Tianya.cn, indicating a foray by the global search leader into social networking in the world's second-largest Internet market, a Reuters report said.
The Reuters report said a Google spokeswoman confirmed the stake holding by email, but declined to give further details.
Various local media reports put the estimated size of Google's stake at anywhere from less than 10% to up to 60%, the Reuters report said.
Other media reports have said Google may be eyeing acquisitions in China.
The Reuters report said Google is rushing to close the gap with rival Baidu.com, which dominated the search market in China in the second quarter with a 58.1% share, according to research firm Analysys International.
Google followed with a 22.8% share and Yahoo China with 11.6%, Analysys said.China is the world's second-largest Internet market after the US, with around 162 million web users, the report further said.