Google Inc has sent a cease and desist letter to the operators of a Chinese search website whose logo bears a close resemblance to its own.

Goojje's home page is adorned with a Google-styled logo and the familiar paw print logo of China's top home-grown search engine, Baidu Inc.

The website, whose name is a play on words with the final syllable jje sounding like the Chinese word older sister, while the gle syllable of Google is pronounced like the Chinese word for older brother, provides search and social networking services.

A Google spokeswoman said on Tuesday that the company has officially asked Goojje to stop copying Google's logo, which is protected by trademark.

China has a notoriously poor record at protecting intellectual property rights. Pirated software, music, movies and clothing, among a host of other goods, are widely available throughout the country despite repeated government crackdowns.

Goojje has already stopped using its original URL, Visitors typing in the address now get automatically redirected to, though the content appears to be the same.

Last month, Google threatened to pull out of China over censorship concerns and what it said was a serious hacking incident that resulted in the theft of its intellectual property.

(Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Ben Blanchard and Alex Richardson)