It’s hard to imagine a world where Google isn’t the king of search. For years people in the West have relied on Google and its various sister programs for assistance in their everyday lives. Google has grown to become much more than just a search engine. Users rely on it not only to find information but also as a powerful language translating platform, a highly accurate and detailed navigation tool as well as a popular email provider. But in China, there is no Google… there is, however, something called Baidu.
What is Baidu?
Lots of people in the West will have never heard of Baidu, but it is the most popular search engine in China and one of the largest companies in the world, which means it is an incredibly important platform for you to advertise on.
It is often dubbed the ‘Chinese Google’, and for good reason. The features and layout of Baidu are very similar to that of Google. They are both powerful search engines for websites, audio files, and images as well as an email service, a language translator and a web mapping service. Baidu has been in operation inside of mainland China for close to 20 years and has seen consistent growth annually since its creation. As a major economic driver and a natural advertising destination for your brand, it is one of China’s tech darlings of the 21st century.
History of Baidu
Headquartered in Beijing, Baidu was founded in January 2000 by Robin Li and Eric Xu. It quickly rose in popularity within China, garnering a huge following. The company went public in 2005, and closed its first day of trading with a return of more than 350 per cent! Since its creation, Baidu has consistently been the search engine market leader in China. It had originally faced competition from Google. However, due to strict digital rules and regulations within China, Google and all its subsidiary sites (Gmail, Google Translate, YouTube, Maps, etc.) began being blocked in early 2010. By November 2013, Google’s search market share declined to 1.7 per cent from its August 2009 level of 36.2 per cent. As of today, Google has no presence in China and all its sites are fully blocked within mainland China, which has only led to Baidu’s dominance in the market.
Facts about Baidu
- Baidu is one of the top 10 largest Internet companies in the world and 4th largest tech company in China, behind Tencent, Alibaba, and China Mobile
- Baidu currently boasts over 76 per cent of the China search-engine market
- Baidu is currently ranked 4th overall in the Alexa Internet rankings, which means it’s the 4th most visited website in the world. Ahead of it, globally, is only Google, Facebook and YouTube