As always some news about what Google and Baidu are up to in China but also some interesting results from a user panel with young Chinese users.
Online book search
Both Google and Baidu are now also in a race to corner the market for online book search.
From PC Pro:
Web search leader Google and its top rival in China Baidu.com are racing to create their online library services in a fierce battle for a slice of the world’s second-largest Internet market.
Both are trying to get into strategic partnerships with Universities and local publishing houses. Where Google will offer full text search, Baidu starts with including library catalogue records of the mainland’s top libraries.
Google launches Daohang, a simple start page
Daohong is fresh from Google labs and is basically a directory of websites that are popular (according to Google) in China, ordered by categories like music, famous websites, blogs, games, etc. Not hugely innovative but it gives an insight on who is who in the Chinese website world. Quite useful for marketing purposes. (source: Tagedge)
.CN domain names
Recently there was also the news that Google hasn’t been able to secure the domain gmail.cn and the Chinese owner, an ISP, refuses to sell. I doubt they really refuse to sell. it’s likely to be the price that will be the issue. I once contacted a Chinese domain owner for a rather average domain and was quoted the opportunistic sum of US$100,000.00. In the case of Google I can only imagine that it will be a lot higher.
The good news for Google and everyone else that is eager to buy domain names with the extension .cn is, that the cost for registering a Chinese domain is dropping.
From the People’s Daily
China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the country’s domain name administrator, says the first-year registration fee for domain names ending in “.cn” will be one Yuan(one U.S. dollar equals 7.74 Yuan).
CNNIC is hoping the move will attract registrations from enterprises and netizens. Previously it cost between 80 and 100 Yuan to register a domain name in China.
Young Chinese Internet users do …
He summed up the following key points that are useful for anyone considering targeting the Chinese Internet users (that are predominantly young users.)
- Favorite activities seems to be to download movies and mp3’s
- Baidu is the favorite search engine mainly because of mp3’s
- Google is considered “better” in terms of quality
- Prefer to download movies that are either Asian or European (French!) not Hollywood movies..
- Cannot consider paying for any content. Especially not for music or movies
- But, are very willing to pay for ringtones, virtual items, avatars etc – One girl even paid to get a doctor to heal her sick QQ pet…
- All users bought online
- All used Alipay to pay for goods online – some cash on delivery