Google is the number one search engine for the users of internet around the world and there is complete domination of Google over other search engines like Yahoo and Bing. However, when it comes to China that has the largest number of internet users in the world, Google ranks a poor second to a search engine that not many people are even aware of. Yes, Baidu is the equivalent of Google in China and more than 70% of a whopping 560 million internet users search for news, entertainment, products, and services through Baidu and not Google.
To have a market share of nearly 70% in a country with the largest number of internet users is indeed creditable, but the genesis of this fact lies in censorship that is prevailing in China. There are strict regulations in place for websites regarding the content that they can have on their pages, and this is what Baidu has capitalized upon. The meteoric rise of Baidu in China can be attributed to the owner of the search engine playing his cards nicely with the authorities in China. Baidu does what is required and requested by the Chinese government, and this is the reason why the revenues of the company have increased with the rise n the number of internet users in the country.
Baidu is far ahead of Google in China
In 2012 alone, there was a jump in profits of Baidu by as much as 50%. The company is riding a wave of success and it has made available many new services to internet users in the country. Baidu recently acquired iQiyi, which is a video streaming site just like Hulu. Not many people know that Baidu started its services way back in 2000 in China whereas Google entered the market very late in 2006 only. Google has only 36% share of internet users in China and this small share is not just because of the language hurdle. It has got to do with the number of services offered by Baidu to internet users in China.
Baidu is a search engine by choice
One reason why Google has not been popular in China is because Google.cn is still routed via Google.hk whereas young middle class Chinese perceives Baidu as his own search engine. Baidu is a search engine by choice. The effect of censorship is evident on Baidu. If you want to search the word Tiananmen Square, the result that it displays is the torch relay that was held at the square while Google returns with the word massacre and cites a BBC report. Thus educated and westernized Chinese young people who want to get a nonbiased and neutral content opt for Google while those who are inclined towards entertainment and censored news opt for Baidu.
There is a constant tug of war between Google and Chinese government as Google is not bowing to the demands of the Chinese authorities and many people fear that Google may be heading towards the fate of YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.