Reasons Why Google Struggles in China

Mike Sachoff of WebProNews reports that Google continues to struggle in China not just in terms of use but also in terms of awareness. This is according to Pearl Research’s new report “Baidu vs. Google: A Study of Search Engine Preferences among Chinese Youth.”

Some of the points I gathered plus my personal opinions.

  • Baidu is a domestic product and is perceived to index Chinese content better than Google
  • Baidu is a Chinese brand which I think many people would be inclined to use
  • Baidu openly features its strong entertainment functionalities such as quick mp3 search
  • Baidu is perceived to have more youth-oriented features
  • The thought of censorship of foreign-based search engine results may also come into play
  • Baidu showed up ahead of Google and has better stranglehold of forging strategic partnerships

But it’s not at all bad for Google.

  • Respondents may be biased to such entertainment features; more than 60 percent of the survey respondents listed music downloads as their main reason to go online.
  • Respondents think Google provides more precise results and its loyal followers attest to that
  • When users see poor quality in Baidu results, they switch to Google

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