Imitation Web sites of both Google and YouTube have emerged in China as the country faces off against the real Google over its local operations.
YouTubecn.com offers videos from the real YouTube, which is owned by Google and blocked in China. The Google imitation is called Goojje and includes a plea for the U.S.-based company not to leave China, after it threatened this month to do so in a dispute over Web censorship and cyber attacks.
The separate projects went up within a day of each other in mid-January, just after Google’s threat to leave.
Both knockoff sites were still working on Thursday. It wasn’t clear what the Chinese authorities would do with them, if anything.
China’s National Copyright Administration has been cracking down on illegally run Web sites and this month issued a code of ethics, but no statement was posted on its site on Thursday about the new imitations.
Google had little to comment. “The only comment I can give you right now is just to confirm that we’re not affiliated,” spokeswoman Jessica Powell said in an e-mail.
The creators of the two sites could not be reached on Thursday.
“I did this as a public service,” the founder of the YouTube knockoff, Li Senhe, told The Christian Science Monitor in an instant message conversation.
Some Chinese quickly welcomed the knockoff YouTube site. “I don’t know if it will last long,” wrote blogger Jia Zhengjing, who has written posts against censorship.
The other site, Goojje, is a working search engine that looks like a combination of Google and its top China competitor, Baidu.
“Exactly speaking, Goojje is not a search engine but a platform for finding friends,” one of the founders, Xiao Xuan, told the Henan Business Daily on Wednesday.
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