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Baidu is unfazed by Google's potential return to China

     
6:29 am on Aug 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Search engine giant Baidu is unfazed by Google's potential return to China [cityam.com]
In a posting on a private social media account today, Robin Li said if the two companies come head to head, "Baidu will win again". "Chinese companies today have plenty of ability and confidence" to compete globally, he added.

Google was reported last week to be developing a censored version of its search engine for Chinese users, having entered into talks with government officials at the end of last year. The search engine has been blocked there since 2010, leaving Baidu to dominate the current market.
6:49 am on Aug 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Baidu is so huge and established in China, in addition to being aligned with China gov't policies, Google's presence won't matter at all... at least not for a while.

Those that circumvent ISP firewalls to get to Google will continue. Those that don't care will continue.

Google would have to come up with something unique to gain much of a market share. However, Google has a huge arsenal of tools and features. Getting their foot back in through the door may be the first step.

If they can adapt to the cultural aspects and meet the Chineese people's needs, they may have a chance, if not further down the road.

It will be interesting to watch as Google maneuvers this undertaking.
11:23 am on Aug 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I use both Google and Baidu Search. For Chinese content Baidu cannot be matched, but search results are not as accurate as Google. I just cannot find what I need as quickly and sometimes not at all with Baidu. For English content Google is tops in anything. Baidu is specifically for the Chinese market and content, and no other.

Currently Baidu's mapping data in China is so much better than Google, but then again there are government security issues that make mapping in China problematic. I can track a friend through China using Google Maps when he is on VPN, but his GPS location does not correlated with his actual physical location on Google Maps. But the Google Maps lack the depth of detail of Baidu, such as landmarks, stores, schools, buildings, shopping centers, often parks, virtually everything. Google's sat maps in China are almost all off. Baidu's Streetview is pretty great, but then again there are security issues that sometimes block the actual location image. Baidu does not update their Streetview as often as Google in Canada. Google has no Streetview in China. I therefore use a combination of Google and Baidu for mapping and GPS work.

Searching Chinese content in Chinese on Google is currently pretty bad. Yes, there are results but the depth is just not there. I find that English-Chinese translation and vice versa is about the same with both search engines. I use Google's translate much more, but it is not very accurate.

Google kills Baidu in any English search, hands down. Technical, news, whatever, Baidu in English is terrible.

The world of information and internet is distinctly split between China and everything else. I span both worlds and therefore currently need both search engines. I welcome Google if and when they hit China and will then rigorously test both search engines. Google has a huge amount of work to be done if they hope to even dent the native Chinese market, but I see hope. Chinese netizens are looking for alternatives to Baidu, just for a different perspective. The opportunity is there for the 750M people in China who are online.
6:54 am on Aug 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I used Google in China 10+ years ago and even then Baidu kicked their butt for Chinese language SERPs. It was not surprising that Baidu was beating Google even then. That was before the noticeable interference with Google by The Great Firewall, when in addition to poor Chinese language SERPs they became interminably slow as well. That kind of sealed Google out of the market even before the retreated on 'moral grounds'.

In general Google's capabilities with Asian languages is below par compared to local languages. The one Asian market where they have made drastic improvements is Japan. They were noticably behind Yahoo Japan for quite some time until they somehow managed to take over the SERPs for that site.

Google will catch up and surpass Baidu if they are allowed to operate there again. It will take them quite a while though as Baidu has built up an impressive lead.

I just cannot find what I need as quickly and sometimes not at all with Baidu.

On competitive keywords don't you have to find your way past all of the paid results masking themselves as real SERPs? That's the way it was when I used to do more work with Chinese SERPs.