Google has started a Chinese-language blog intended to give internet users in China a better understanding of what the company is all about.

Blogs have increasingly become an important tool for companies to announce news and to keep in touch with partners and customers. Like other technology companies, Google has long been one of the leaders in this area with its main corporate blog, which has become a principal channel for company announcements.

The Google China blog, called Google Blackboard, is intended to help communicate the company's products, technology and culture. However, the blog makes no mention of the censored search engine that Google has introduced in China or the uproar that move provoked among critics of the company in the US.

That subject, along with recent US Congressional hearings on how US internet companies operate in China, has been addressed on the company's US blog.

By comparison, Google Blackboard deals with less controversial topics, such as one post that detailed a Google China employee's impressions of the company. Another post discussed how the company has changed the logo on its website to reflect the ongoing Winter Olympics in Turin. That post also appeared on the company's blog in the US.

This is not the first time that Google has used blogs to get its message out to Chinese internet users. Last year, the company set up a blog to address events that surrounded the hiring of Kai-Fu Lee, a former Microsoft executive once at the heart of a hiring dispute between Google and Microsoft.

To help make its case to Chinese users, Google began posting to a short-lived blog, called Google and Dr Kai-Fu Lee, on 13 September 2005. After several further postings regarding Lee, updates on the blog appeared to cease on 27 September 2005.

After that date, the blog was silent until 23 December 2005, when a brief post announced the settlement of the lawsuit between Google and Microsoft.

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