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Toutiao Search is online now, a search engine from ByteDance

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The ByteDance company throws its gauntlet at Baidu and launches a search engine in China: Toutiao Search is online.

Baidu’s leadership as a search engine in China  (it holds 76% of the market share) is not in question, at least for the moment, but the Beijing giant could in the future find itself having to deal with an uncomfortable competitor. We are talking about ByteDance, considered the most valuable startup on the planet, already in control of the TikTok application (formerly Musical.ly ) which is also popular in the West.

As anticipated by some rumours leaked in recent weeks, the company has launched its interface for searching for information online: it’s called Toutiao Search and can be reached at  toutiao.com/search  or  m.toutiao.com/search in its mobile-friendly edition. It is part of the Toutiao portal, a news aggregator already active for a long time, but works completely independently. Following the entry of a query, the platform returns a mix of results from both the resources on the Net and the contents present in the ByteDance applications.

China: research and censorship

According to the editorial staff of TechCrunch, the results returned are filtered: for example, looking for “Hong Kong” there is news relating to the protests of recent weeks coming exclusively from sources and publications approved by the central government.

In the recent past, Google has also evaluated the idea of returning to China with its own search engine. The initiative, known internally as Project Dragonfly, has been definitively abandoned following protests that came from all sides because of its nature. The intention was to submit the service to the will of Beijing, applying a form of censorship so as not to make certain types of content accessible.

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