Google Launches Japanese Mobile Phone Portal

Google Inc, the world's No.1 Web search engine, has started a free Japanese-language news site for mobile phones, to expand in a market where more people access the Web via handsets than PCs.

The service shows a list of headlines and links to news sites that are also designed for cell phones.

"People want to check the news all the time," Angela Lee, Google's senior product manager in Tokyo told a briefing earlier this week. "We've created something that's easy to use and view on handsets."

The service challenges existing news distribution sites for cell phones in Japan, which typically charge users monthly fees.

Google Japan already offers a news Web site for PCs, which displays reports from more than 600 news organizations.

Mountain View, California-based Google has also tied up with Japan's second-biggest phone carrier KDDI Corp. (9433.T) to offer search engines on mobile phones.

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