Google Chinese IME, The Product of Doing Evil

By , April 8, 2007 6:59 am

On April 4th, Google officially released the first version of its Chinese IME — Google Pinyin. Dr. Kaifu Lee, the famous ethic adviser of youth in China, might have never expect what this product would bring to Google.

Only several hours after the release of Google Pinyin, people using the IME found out that the vocabulary library it was using had too many things in common with Sogou Pinyin — a competing Chinese IME product from Sohu Inc. To protect their vocabulary library from unauthorized usage, the programmers developing Sogou Pinyin embedded their names and other signatures into their vocabulary library, and all these signatures appeared in Google Pinyin. These findings triggered fervency debates over the evilness of Google, which flooded many IT-related forums in China. In response to the debates, Google stated on its internal blogging platform that Google Pinyin was developed by two full time engineers plus one intern in three months using their 20% “independent R&D” time. At the same time, Google quietly upgraded their vocabulary library to remove all known signatures from Sogou Pinyin.

On April 8th, Sohu Inc officially publish an announcement condemning Google’s piracy of Sohu’s vocabulary library. The announcement pointed out that Google is still using Sohu’s vocabulary library even though some of the Sohu signatures have been quietly removed. Sohu also requested Google to apologize for their piracy of Sohu’s vocabulary library and immediately cease the promotion and distribution of Google Pinyin.

Three hours later, in a response to Sohu’s announcement, Google admitted that it had used some none-Google data source in Google Pinyin, and had already upgrade their vocabulary library. In this response Google did not admitted that it has used Sohu’s vocabulary library, and it did not apologize for its piracy of Sohu’s vocabulary library. However, Google quietly deleted (again) the previous announcement from its internal blogging platform regarding how two gifted engineers and one intern developed this super Chinese IME using their spare time. At this point it is quite clear to the public that the talents at Google reverse-engineered Sogou Pinyin and used its vocabulary library directly in Google Pinyin.

It is astonishing to the public that a company like Google would reverse engineer a competitor’s product and use it directly in its own product. However, all the messages we have so far lead to the undebatable conclusion — Google Pinyin, the product of doing evil!


8 Responses to “Google Chinese IME, The Product of Doing Evil”

  1. Google says:



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    Can’t believe Google would do that…

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