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. TradingMarkets.com 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.