A WeChat Game Is Google’s Latest Attempt To Crack Chinese Market

In China where the major services of Google have been blocked by the government, the US IT giant is attempting to try a new method to gain access into the market.

An artificial intelligence game has bene launched by Google on WeChat which is the largest social media platform of China and is owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent, the tech giant announced in a blog post Wednesday.

Google’s first WeChat mini program has been named Caihua Xiaoge, or Guess My Sketch. Mini programs are those apps that can be directly installed by users from WeChat rather than doing so from Google Play or Apple’s App Store.

The major feature of the Caihua Xiaoge game is a challenge for users to draw an item on their smartphone or tablet within a limited amount of time. the ultimate achievement of the game for the users is to draw the sketch so that the artificial intelligence software of Google is able to correctly identify the drawing before the allocated time. The play progresses from simple items like clouds to more complicated ones like elephants.

The new venture from Google would be in tune with the aim of China to become a global AI leader and therefore is not likely to upset the country’s censors.

Google product manager Chris Tam said in the blog post that the game is meant to give people “the opportunity to experience just how natural AI-powered interactions can now be.”

Google’s other products such as its search engine, Gmail, YouTube and Maps along with Google Play, the app store of Google, is officially banned in China.

And the limited number of Google apps that are allowed in eth country such as Google Translate and file management app Files Go can only be accessed through third-party app stores which are run by Chinese smartphone makers like Huawei and Xiaomi.

Because the new game is launched on WeChat which routinely blocks sensitive content, therefore the new game is not likely to be a cause of concern for the country’s censors. The Google project is also a sneak fit into the aim of the country’s authorities to construct a $150 billion artificial intelligence industry.

The setting up of its first Asian artificial intelligence research centre in Beijing has already been announced by Google.

The Chinese market with its hundreds of millions of smartphone and internet users is too large a pie for Google to ignore despite the fact that the company had to exit the country effectively in 2010.

Last month, $550 million was invested in the Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com by Google. The company had launched its language translation app in China last year and its file management app in May this year.

(Adapted from Money.CNN.com)


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