Saturday, September 29, 2007

Different insight on Baidu vs. Google in China

I have noticed a lot of posts over the past few days about CNNIC's report that Baidu now has 74% market share in China. The general tenor of these is that it's another US Internet giant about to lose its shirt in China to good little feisty local competition. Lots of people like this story (think eBay vs. Taobao).

However, the China Search Ads blog has a somewhat different take on this. Their perspective is:

However the interesting story is Google. report that among educated, older and more prosperous users Google is almost drawing even - which would start to explain why their return on investment tends to be higher than Baidu.

Now, cynics would say that there's a long history in business media of falling back on the quality argument when your numbers are bad. This may be, but it's rarely hard to generate big audiences in China. Whether all of those people actually have any money to spend is often an entirely different matter.


Eddie said...

Quite true. The revenue of search ads isn't that sizable in China especially when we look at the keywords buying pattern of the advertisers, mostly the SMEs. Their keywords buy tend to be as narrow as possible, not very semantic, which thus affects the search ads income.

From what I have learned, Baidu is trying everything NOT to be recognized as a search engine. Robin Li has declared not to participate in any internet related event. In my recent chat with a friend who belongs to the inner circle of China search ads business, Baidu new strategy eyes on the territory of Sina, not Google anymore.

I believe Baidu is paving its new future while Google is gaining its momentum in China market for search. -- Eddie. said...

Sorry for the confusion, Paul. You've been duly credited.