Google Struggles In China

Chinese Users Favor Baidu

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Google continues to struggle with lower user awareness in China compared to Chinese search engine Baidu according to Pearl Research’s new report "Baidu vs. Google: A Study of Search Engine Preferences among Chinese Youth."

Google China

"I believe that Google will continue to face challenges in competing with Baidu in the Chinese search engine market. Baidu’s lead is mostly a result of its Chinese brand, early market entry, strong entertainment functions and other youth-friendly features." "

"However, many of our panel believed that Google offers a robust product with more relevant and precise search results," said Allison Luong, Managing Director of Pearl Research.

Chinese youth select Baidu over Google because they believe Baidu is a domestic product and that it is better at indexing Chinese content. Compared to Google, Baidu is more convenient to locate multimedia content such as MP3 downloads.

The solid entertainment search function is one of the key factors for Baidu’s popularity over Google as more than 60 percent of the survey respondents listed music downloads as their main reason to go online.

Baidu’s earlier entry into the Chinese search engine market and higher visibility through partnerships and software add-ons has made it a challenge for Google to gain users even with efforts of brand localizing strategies.

It’s not all bad news for Google. Pearl Research believes Google’s robust search capability improves its ability to retain users better than Baidu. Google users showed strong loyalty to the search engine, noting the depth and precision of the results returned. Some users in the survey switched to Google after poor results from Baidu.

The study is based on 40 one-on-one interviews with Chinese consumers and a 450-person survey.

Google Struggles In China
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