Fake Google search engine emerges in China

A new search engine called Goojje highlights why Google may leave China.

In addition to a name that sounds like Google, the Goojje search engine copies Google's logo. See for yourself: goojje.com

Although Goojje appears to be trying to cash in on Google's branding, a closer look shows that it may in fact be something of a tribute to Google. Goojje sounds like the Chinese word for "big sister." A message on the Goojje site reads "Sister was very happy when brother gave up the thought of leaving and stayed for sister." The site was reportedly created by a female college student in China.

The site may want Google to stay, but its very existence shows why Google may want to go. The second sentence of Google's now-famous blog post says it all: "we detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google."

The press, pundits and public appear to believe that Google's troubles with China stem primarily from censorship or hacking. The truth is that Google is mainly concerned with the theft of intellectual property. When you're a search engine, intellectual property is the whole product.

The Goojje search engine copies the easy stuff -- the logo and name. Google's real concern is more likely the theft of its proprietary algorithms, source code and other secrets.

As the blogger formerly known as the Fake Steve Jobs pointed out in a recent missive, "How can you do business in China if everyone you hire is going to steal from you?" He's referring to reports that spies within Google's China staff provided help or information to the hackers.

Google denies that employees were involved in the hacking they reported. But the larger issue is that a pervasive culture of aggressive, insidious intellectual property theft exists in China, aided and abetted by the government.

The Goojje site is pretty harmless. All can see the logo and branding were copied or "inspired" by Google's. The real risk is when Baidu or some other search engines in China end up using stolen code from Google to compete against Google in the marketplace, and when the government of China uses stolen information and illegal access to crack down on critics of the Chinese government and suppress human rights.

Forget about big sister. It's Big Brother we should all be concerned about.

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