Google, the world's number one 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 displays reports from about 30 media outlets - including the Asahi newspaper and state-run NHK - and aims to expand its line-up, Google said in a media release on Thursday.
The service shows a list of headlines and links to news sites that are also designed for mobile phones.
Angela Lee, Google's senior product manager in Tokyo, said at a briefing earlier this week:
"People want to check the news all the time. We've created something that's easy to use and view on handsets."
The service challenges existing news distribution sites for mobile phones in Japan, which typically charge users monthly fees.
Google Japan already offers a news website for PCs, which displays reports from more than 600 news organisations.
Google has also tied up with Japan's second-biggest phone carrier KDDI to offer search engines on mobile phones.
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