A new study shows that the word Google has as much power in the Chinese marketplace as it does here in the US.
According to Reuters, performance research firm Keynote Systems conducted a monthlong survey of 1,200 Chinese Web users and found that in 11 of 13 categories (which included general, news and images searches), Google registered at the head of the class in relation to its peers—including rival and market leader Baidu, in which Google last year bought a 2.6 percent stake.
Though Baidu currently handles more than a third of all Chinese search traffic, made up of more than 100 million users, Google is clearly putting its stamp on search in the Eastern hemisphere: in Keynote’s study, even when dealing with customer preference—a place where Baidu should have the market edge based on brand recognition alone—the two companies came out neck and neck.
Other companies evaluated in the study included Alibaba (40% of which is owned by Yahoo) and Sohu.com’s Sogou. With major players like eBay (which invested $180 million in EachNet, based in Shanghai) and Barry Diller’s IAC (which took a 52% stake in a Chinese travel agency called eLong for $168 million) lining up to enter the Chinese marketplace, Baidu’s clearly got plenty of competition primed to challenge their hold on the Eastern territories.