2 Reasons Why Google is Losing in China to Baidu
Why Google is Losing in China
There are two simple reasons why Google is so far behind Baidu (the hugely popular Chinese search engine) in China today. They are simply:
- Free MP3 search and download service provided by Baidu
- Blocking, intentional or not, of Google servers in China
According to the latest statistics (which can be found in this article), Baidu holds 62% of the Chinese Internet search market, with Google holding a mere 25%. How much influence could the above two reasons have on Google? Let’s take a look at them a little more closely:
Baidu’s Free MP3 Service
While it would seem like a free MP3 service is a harmless thing, the fact is most of the music that is downloaded in this fashion, which is accessed through direct links provided by Baidu’s MP3 search on its search Website, is pirated. In fact, many music companies have begun suing Baidu for copyright infringement. The free MP3 service and download ability has doubtlessly allowed Baidu to attract masses of Chinese Internet users that would have otherwise never chosen Baidu as their primary search engine.
The Blocking of Google’s Servers and Websites in China
Many times when I want to get into Google from China, the page does not load at all, and it does not load in the same fashion as every other website that is cutoff by the Chinese web-watchers. And when I access it through a proxy during these times, Google works perfectly.
Google either is accessible or not in China. And when it is not, it is for chunks of time, not for a couple of seconds here or there, but rather quite a few seconds or minutes.
While there may be a valid technical explanation for this problem, I can also imagine the powers that be in various provinces allowing Google’s sites to be blocked for Baidu’s benefit. In fact, that is far and away my best educated guess of what is happening when Google’s sites are not accessible in China. What do you think?
What is NOT Causing Google to Lose in China
Google’s web search functions seem to be better than Baidu’s. I have done quite a few searches (in Chinese) in Baidu that come up with substandard search results that have far better results through Google.
While Google may continue losing to Baidu in China for the foreseeable future, if the two problems above are solved they stand a fighting chance in the Chinese search engine marketplace. Do you agree?