Monday, 30 April 2007

Google aiming for #1 position in China

Google outlined its plans to reporters last week about their aim to achieve the top share of the search market in China - the second largest population of Internet users after the US. Google entered the Chinese market relatively late - in January 2006 - which was after Yahoo! and other prominent US web services had made inroads here. Google has also been dogged by censorship issues and other Government controls, which will also affect their YouTube service.

However, Google has already achieved nearly 22% share of the Chinese search market with Google.cn, but this remains some way behind the local incumbent, Baidu, which is reported to hold a 55% share of the market. Google claims to be increasing their share and they are now investing more technical and financial support through their Beijing office to allow local managers to have more autonomy to develop their strategy within the country.

China is certainly a huge untapped market for many online companies - there are 137 million people online and this number is continuing to grow and expected to surpass the US market in the next 2 years. However, it is also a very unique market that requires localised knowledge and understanding, as well as an awareness of the potential pitfalls and restrictions that exist. One thing is certain, as in many business sectors now, China and it's potential can't be ignored and Google is making every effort to be a leading player for the future.

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