Lee resigns from Google China | Shanghai Daily

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September 5, 2009

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Lee resigns from Google China

KAI-FU Lee, president of Google China, will leave the company in the middle of this month.

Lee, who joined Google in 2005 to develop the firm's operations in China to compete with Baidu.com, the nation's most popular search engine, will develop an angel investment-like venture to "help Chinese young entrepreneurs," he said in a letter to the press.

"I am lucky to have an opportunity to create Google China four years ago," Lee said in the letter.

He helped found Google.cn, the company's first Chinese-language search Website.

In the past four years, Google China had developed 50 products for the domestic market, such as Google Maps, Google search on mobile phones and a Website for people to have legal download of music, a unique service only available in China for Google.

In the domestic online search market, Google China's market share by revenue hit 31.0 percent, almost double the figure in 2006, according to Analysys International, a Beijing-based IT consulting firm.

According to the consulting firm, Baidu held 61.6 percent of China's search market in the second quarter while Google had 29 percent.

Other multinational Internet firms, like Yahoo! and eBay, failed to penetrate the domestic market and lost against local rivals.

Prior to joining Google, Lee was at Microsoft where he founded a research center. He had also worked at Apple Inc.

Google has appointed two executives to take over Lee's responsibilities in research and sales.

Yeo Boon Lock, director of Google's Shanghai engineering office, will take over engineering responsibilities for Google China.

John Liu, who heads Google's sales teams in China, will become vice president of sales and operations.

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