Google: Still Trying to Click in China

Despite an off-key name, censorship issues, and strong local rivals, the U.S. search giant remains confident it can be No. 1 on the mainland

Kai-Fu Lee was last in the spotlight a year ago, rejoicing outside a courthouse in Seattle after winning his freedom from Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. Lee was a longtime Microsoft (MSFT) vice-president and expert on speech-recognition technology, who abruptly resigned in mid-2005 and joined the company's most powerful rival, Google (GOOG). Although Microsoft argued that a non-compete agreement meant that Lee couldn't go to Beijing for Google, a judge in September, 2005, disagreed.

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