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People’s Search Engine Denies Layoff Rumors; Says More Jobs Open

02-18 16:32 Caijing
Rumors said the state-run search engine, rivaling Baidu and Sogou, was so poorly operated that it had generated little return on a 2 billion yuan worth of investment.

Jike, the search company owned by China’s stated-run newspaper People’s Daily, denied a rumor saying the company laid off about 100 employees as it tries to cut cost to handle bleak prospects.

The company has no plans yet for a slim-down, and is ready to recruit another 40 college graduates this March with more jobs open up, it said in a statement. The company has 451 employees, according to the statement.

Rumors surfaced when an anonymous article posted online said the state-run search engine, rivaling Baidu and Sogou, was so poorly operated that it had generated little return on a 2 billion yuan worth of investment.

The whistle-blower said the decision was made by Jike's chairman who was disheartened by two years of lower-than-expected "achievements".

Jike chief scientist Liu Jun called the article rootless and the writer an “amateur”. 

In the article, the writer said manager of the company, former Chinese table tennis star, Deng Yapeng, knows nothing about search engine, and the company is very unlikely to be a success.

Deng, received a PhD from Cambridge University, was reportedly very industrious who gets to office before 8:00 am every morning. Deng's vision is to make Jike more like Google.

CNZZ statistics showed Baidu led the home search engine market in January with a market share of over 70%, followed by 360, Google and SoSo. And less than 0.0001 percent users turned to Jike.

Chinese IT observer Liu Fanghua said without differentiated competitiveness and effective marketing, it’s hard for Jike to have a bigger market. 

People’s Daily launched the Jike search engine in June, 2011, an ambitious government move to enter the commercial Internet space.

People’s Daily said it also chose the name because it sounds like “geek” in English, “representing a computer expert or enthusiast.”

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