Read/Write Web has a fascinating article on the outlook of Search in China. There is an intense competition for internet users among search engines, particularly between Google which trails the current market leader Baidu. According Aydin Senkut’s analysis, Baidu currently enjoys double the market share in all types of search over Google because of several key reasons.
These include the strength and popularity of Baidu’s Bulletin Boards as well its heavily used MP3 search function, which allows users to directly access downloadable music. It is interesting to note that recent research has revealed that Google enjoys the greatest perceived quality among internet users when it come to search engines, even above Baidu. This indicates that Google possibly needs to provide more search features and web based tools in order to match Baidu’s dominance of the current search market in China.
Today China boasts over 105 million Internet users, not to mention 350M mobile users (growing by 57 million every year). By 2010, Chinese Internet users will outnumber US Internet users by 25%. Currently, 87% of the Chinese Internet audience uses search. And given Internet search’s dominance of monetization and audience rankings globally, the competition for the top spot in the Chinese search market is pretty intense.