The IT giant you never heard of

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Yandex: The rise of ‘Russia’s Google’

Source: BBC News

By Anastasia Zyrianova in Moscow

Earlier this year, I climbed into a self-driving car for the first time. I was one of hundreds who had waited patiently for their turn to take a spin. Some even got sunburnt while waiting, but felt the pain was worth it. In the end each of us got a pin saying “The first self-driving car’s passenger”.

The stunt took place during a conference held by one of the biggest internet companies in the world. It now works in such fields as artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, personal assistants, online-translating and dictionaries, online marketplaces and – most recently – smart speakers. But it wasn’t Google. And it wasn’t even in Silicon Valley.

There are several web search engines in the world. The biggest are Google, Microsoft’s Bing, China’s Baidu and the early pioneer Yahoo. Google is the most dominant, having become much more than simply the go-to search engine. But there’s another contender to add to this list that few people have heard of outside the country where it operates. That country is Russia. The search engine? Yandex.

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