Since my last update on the Chinese search world all the major players have been very active in launching new channels and products.
I like to start with the latest report from China IntelliConsulting Corporation (CIC) that researched the current market shares of the search engines in China. CIC conducted a survey in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou (the most urbanized and modern cities of China).
The main conclusion, based on the last 12 months, is that there are only two parties left that can be taken serious.
Baidu leads comfortably with 69.5% (7.6% more than 12 months ago) and Google account for 23% of the market. Hanging on are Yahoo and Sogou with respectively 2.3% (lost 2.9%) and 1.8% (lost 1.4%). If you look at the last 6 months the picture looks a bit more positive for Google as they increased their share with 1.4% and Baidu grew 0.4%.
Chart from CIC
Some other highlights from the report:
- Chinese users response positively to Google’s localized products
- Google’s market share gains are mainly from student users.
- Google lost 5.6% of it’s hi-end users where Baidu picked up 9.7% over the last year
(Hi-end users: Aged 25 and above, bachelor or higher and a salary of more than 3000 Renminbi)
The report also gives an overview of what they call frequently visited websites. Sina is the most popular, followed by Sohu and Netease. Yahoo China is number 4 on the list. The last 3 websites all lost market share according to CIC.
The battle seems in favor of Baidu at this stage but Google is in China for the long run and won’t give up easily. You can find a pdf version of the report here.
Let’s have a look of what they have been up to as well as the other players. And if you make it all the way to the end of the article, I even have something funny, well a bit funny at least.
Video advertising is hot. Google launched their video advertising product some time ago (also available in Chinese) and, no surprise, Baidu has launched its own version and the principle is the same. It will sell video advertisements which will be distributed via its Union network (similar to Adsense) of 150,000 partner sites.
Not long after that they launched Baidu Game.
CWR blog describes it as:
… a search driven forum for sharing know-hows of any games (in future, currently only 5). It’s a natural derivative for game players to turn from asking in Baidu Zhidao to Sharing.
The five games that are included are: Perfect World 2, Zhu Xian Online and Legend of Martial Arts, Zhengtu Online and World of Warcraft.
And if this wasn’t enough they launched their Olympic channel.
From China Tech Stories:
Head of Baidu’s Olympic platform, Wang Xiao said: “We will utilize the world’s leading Chinese search technology, to guide the hundreds of millions of Olympic-related inquiries daily to the best Web sites that users want. This will not only promote an environment of efficiency and fairness for the Olympic media coverage, it can also greatly highlight the authoritative nature of Baidu as a new media.”
Baidu is not the only one speeding up its launches. Google China activated it’s blog search engine at the end of last month. It’s self-censored as is their search engine but as Blogoscoped mentioned, “blog information is especially hard to control.
Talking about blogs, Google’s reader is since September 18 also available in Simplified and Traditional Chinese (as well as in many other languages).
China is one of the countries where the new Adsense for Mobile will be available. Given the huge number (44 million) of mobile phone users that, if you can believe the stats from CNNIC, spend time surfing mobile, this might work here. I still struggle with the potential of mobile ads, that display is sooo small, but that’s why I attend Mobile Mondays and maybe one day I’ll get it.
And then very recently yet another launch, well actually 2. The first one makes it possible to search Chinese video sharing websites. It’s similar to Baidu’s video search. The second is a Chinese version of Google Transit. You can plan your trip in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Nanjing for now.
And before I end up with the Google news, the last tidbit is a report from again China Tech News that President of Google China, Kai-fu Lee, announced a massive market promotion in the coming months in order to entice more users to try Google’s products.
Ok, one more, although not so fresh but still a nice win for Google.
From China Vortex:
Alibaba has chosen Google China as its main advertising platform partner for its online advertising service Alimama over Baidu.
Alibaba had been in secret discussions with both Google China and Baidu. The discussions with Baidu broke down for undisclosed reasons, and soon after, Alibaba announced its partnership with Google.
The Rest of the Best
Although search market wise trailing behind, Yahoo is still a popular destination website for its services. They have launched their map service as well as the Lifetime Emailbox. It’s a mailbox with unlimited capacity.
Microsoft has lost its CEO for Greater China, Timothy Chen. He will continue his career with the NBA to lead its newly created NBA China division.
MSN was in the news for the fact that their partner for its MSN China joint venture intends to get out of the partnership and is looking for buyers for their stake. This will have to be a Chinese company to comply with Chinese regulations that say that the majority of the stake has to be held by a mainland company.
Links that may be of interest:
Alipay makes it now possible for consumers in mainland China to buy directly online from global retailers
Chinese online payment company Yeepay partners with Eachnet. EachNet is a joint-venture between eBay and TOM Online. The question is here, where has paypal, an eBay company, gone in this setup.
The CEO of Myspace, Luo Chuan, has been talking about the user growth. Not yet a hit in the market it seems. Ad company WPP has faith in the venture and bought a stake in the venture capital firm backing MySpace China.
The biggest video-sharing website in China, Tudou (potato), is now 360 million videos a week according to Nielsen.
Blogs and other websites hosted in the mainland are under scrutiny and data centers have been closed down in the run-up to the meeting of the National Congress. You’ll find an overview here. It will make you think twice before hosting here.
A little fun
There are many expat classified magazines here in Shanghai and reading them can be entertaining. This ad made me chuckle, considering the on going discussions about the colors of one’s hat.