Google entered China in 2006, just as virtually every multinational Internet company was failing or pulling out. Google also faced significant challenges in 2006, from public perception to government relations, from user experience to market share. However, in the past two years, Google China has turned the situation around – from having the best Chinese search engine to increasing market share. This talk will describe:
- How did Google work hard to understand the Chinese user? How are Chinese users different from users elsewhere?
- How did Google translate that understanding into winning products and product features?
- What research and development areas are being worked on at Google China?
- What are the key success factors for multinationals in China?
Kai-Fu Lee is a Vice President of Engineering at Google, Inc. and President of Google Greater China. He joined Google in 2005 to start Google’s operations in China. Prior to joining Google, Lee was a Corporate Vice President responsible for advanced natural language and user interface technologies at Microsoft (1998) and was the founder of Microsoft Research Asia, which has since become one of the best research centers in the world. MIT Technology Review called it “the hottest computer science research lab in the world.”
From 1996 to 1998, Lee was the President of Cosmo Software, a subsidiary of Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI). At SGI, Lee was responsible for several product lines and the company’s Web strategy. Before joining SGI, Lee spent six years at Apple, most recently as vice president of the company's interactive media group, which developed QuickTime, QuickDraw 3D, QuickTime VR and PlainTalk speech technologies.
From 1988 to 1990, he was an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University, where he developed the world's first speaker-independent continuous speech-recognition system. This system was selected as the “Most Important Innovation of 1988” by Business Week. While at Carnegie Mellon, Lee also developed the world-champion computer program that plays the game "Othello" and that defeated the human world champion in 1988.
Lee holds a doctorate in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor's in computer science with highest honors from Columbia University. Lee is a Fellow of the IEEE.
Catherine Copetas, copetas [atsymbol] cs.cmu.edu