It hasn’t been a good year for Google in China, and the search engine has suffered another blow this week when China’s most popular portal Sina stopped using Google’s search box on its website. Sina, which is China’s third most popular website and has almost 1 billion page views daily has stated that its contract with Google has come to an end, and that it intends to use its own search technology going forward.
Google has seen its market share diminish in China since March 2010 when it withdrew from the country and began to service Chinese users from Hong Kong, to avoid the Chinese government’s strict censorship regulations. Discord between the two has been rife ever since, with Google claiming only last week that its gmail email service was being blocked in China, an allegation which the government denied. And with its main search rival Baidu increasing its search share continuously (it now has around 75% share), Google is very clearly the poor relation in Chinese search – and in the world’s largest internet market of over 420 million users, that is of some significance.
How the search giant will attempt to recover some market share in China, or whether it will even try, remains to be seen.
Attendees at the International Search Summit @ SMX Advanced in Seattle will hear from Cui Min, Senior Product Manager at Baidu on search marketing in China. Early Bird rates are still available.