Google To Stay Single In China

    December 22, 2006

While some might call it a show of “determination,” others would label it “pigheadedness.” Either way, Google apparently plans to remain on its own in the Chinese search engine market. The corporation will not pursue any partnerships with Chinese companies, according to Kai-fu Lee, Google’s president for Greater China.

“We have confidence in our current approach,” Lee said at a press conference. Tim Culpan of the Shanghai Daily noted, however, that Lee “declined to provide more details on the company’s strategy in China’s mainland.”

That leaves a rather large question on the table: how does Google intend to catch up with Baidu? Culpan reported that Google’s “current approach” has left the company with only “a 16 percent share of the China search-engine market, compared with Beijing-based Baidu’s 50 percent and Yahoo’s 16 percent.”

That situation won’t improve anytime soon, either, according to the Credit Suisse Group. “Baidu’s market share could rise to 56 percent next year, nearly triple Google’s projected 19 percent,” the company projected.

Google’s problems in China aren’t limited to statistics. Two weeks ago, WebProNews reported that Johnny Chou, the vice president of Google China, made arrangements to leave the company on December 31. The month before, Google’s Asia Pacific Chief Marketing Officer Wang Huanan made a similar announcement. Such departures could make it even more difficult for the company to “stay the course.”

Google is, at least, on roughly equal footing with Yahoo in China, in terms of both statistics and personnel. That fact has to be of some comfort to the search engine company.


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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.