The first Search Engine Strategies Conference and Expo to be held in China wrapped up and recieved great feedback from the participants. There were approximately 600 attendees at this event and next year promises to bring out even more. Here’s some notes from the keynote speakers, Jack Ma of Yahoo! China and Johnny Zhou of Google. Baidu, the leading search engine in China, was a no show at this event.
The first Search Engine Strategies Conference to be held in China opened with Chris Sherman interviewing Google China’s Johnny Chow and Jack Ma of Yahoo! China. Johnny Chow talked about Google’s strategy in China which was to abide by the corporate culture which he described as “innovation by technology”. Their highest priority is the customers they serve and he felt the development of the Internet would benefit from technology and create a good environment for China. He explained although there are 111 million users there was a small penetration rate and Google would like to reach a broader audience. He also said the most SME’s don’t have a website and those that do have one don’t understand the value of search and online marketing. When asked about competition he said Google welcomes competition because it brings out the best in people.
Jack Ma starts out by saying he will speak in Chinese and receives a thunderous applause. You can tell he is very popular in China (at least with this SES crowd) as people pour out of their seats to get a photo of him on stage. He explains that Yahoo has been in China for 8 years and that it ultimately will help their Alibaba clients. When asked about the $1 billion they received from Yahoo he said there was a lot of gossip about that and $750 million was reinvested back into the company. Chris Sherman asked him about his statement that eBay was a shark in the ocean but his company was a crocodile in the Yangtze river and Mr. Ma responded that his view on competition was really different from a battle. In a battle he said someone must die but in competition no one dies and he is not afraid of anyone (again thunderous applause). He went on to say that they won’t follow the rules set up by Baidu or Google but will make their own rules.
Coverage of the sessions can be found here at seoroundtable courtesy of Marc Hill Macalua from the Phillippines and and also from the effervescent Miles Evans’ from Thailand at Profit Papers. Ahnee Min gives some in depth insight at her China Advertising Blog.