We’ve written considerable amounts about Google’s approach to China, which the company says it is still focused on despite the fact that it relocated its search engine to Hong Kong in 2010. Of all of the challenges that Google faces there, the fierce competition provided by Chinese rival Baidu is one of the biggest.
Baiduis simply killing Google in its core market, search. Yet outside of China little is known of the company, which s very much like Google but with key differences.
- Were you aware, for example, that Baidu has more than 50 communities and services online, including maps, an encyclopedia, a mobile OS and more?
- Did you realise that Google briefly held a 2 percent share of the Chinese search giant before it entered China itself?
- Do you know that Baidu prioritises paid search terms above organic results without any limitation on the number that appear?
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We’re usually skeptical on infographics but these stats, and more, are brought to us in a neat visual comparison from Digimind, which asks: ‘Is the battle already lost for Google?’
Looking at their prime focus, Baidu is streets ahead of Google in search, controlling 83.6 percent of all searches in China against Google’s 11.1 percent.
However, when you look at search in terms of revenue, the picture isn’t so shabby. Google accounts for 18 percent of the estimated $866 million (5.5 billion yuan) industry-wide annual revenue. That means that the US firm is making more than $155 million from search alone in China.
While its search battle may be lost, as Baidu is unlikely to be caught, we’d say that the rest of the ‘war’ is very much on for Google. The company has plenty of other irons in the fire to keep it busy and appealing to China’s 500 million plus Internet users and its massive mobile market.
Google is in a far better position in China than many other Web companies, like Facebook or Twitter, which see their popular Western services blocked in the country. For those firms, the battle in China is truly lost…for now, at least.