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Google appoints former SK Tel exec China sales VP

SHANGHAI, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Google Inc GOOG.O said on Monday it had appointed a former SK Telecom Co 017670.KS executive as its vice president of sales in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. John Liu, who is a graduate of Beijing Normal University and the Technical University of Denmark, was SK Telecom's CEO and president in China for six years, Google said in an emailed statement. Liu also previously worked at Singapore Telecommunications STEL.SI and FreeMarkets Inc, the statement said.

Google's local rival, Inc BIDU.O, dominated China's Web search market in the third quarter of 2007 with a 61.5 percent share, according to Analysys International.

Google followed with a 22.5 percent share -- largely unchanged from the second quarter -- and Yahoo China came third with a 10.6 percent share, the research firm said. (Reporting by Sophie Taylor; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree)