Cloud Tibet, the first Tibetan Language in the world has been launched for trial according to a report on China.org.cn which says that the service has been launch for trial operation on Tuesday.
Developed by a Tibetan language research center in Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province, Cloud Tibet will help Tibetan-speaking people access a variety of information in text, graphic and video formats, said Tselo, head of the development team.
Also, the search engine will provide users with encyclopedia information, archive data and a Q&A service in Tibetan, Tselo said.
The big players of search engines in China such a Baidu and Sogou do not provide Tibetan language search capabilities in Tibet. However the world search giants such as Google does support Tibetan language search requests but they are not dedicated to provide such a capability.
The report quoted the developers as saying “The databases of Google, Yahoo and other foreign search engines are based overseas, so their search results are limited both in terms of quantity and quality,” Tselo said. “They fail to provide users with effective, up-to-date news on Tibet, and their search results relating to Tibetan culture are not precise and extensive.”
During the trial operation, Cloud Tibet will further improve its search and matching function and expand its database, Tselo said according to the reports. The developers expect to attract at least 2 million Tibetans.
The report claimed that the out of the 150 people of the developers team, 87% are ethnic Tibetans. The project was launched in April 2013.
This is a huge accomplishment for Tibetans if this project actually succeeds to function independently without being influenced by the intervention from the popular Chinese government censorship to curb the free flow of information. The fact still remains that President Xi had recently issued directions to all the major media in the country to serve for the nation which particularly orders to function as they want.
The initiative is extremely laudable but they face a huge challenge to be able to function as an unbiased neutral media.