(Updated with the latest stats on April 2020)
Across most of the world, Google has a monopoly on the search engine market, but not in China.
In China, Google has a tiny 1.97% search market share, and local alternatives thrive in its place.
For many search marketers, that can make the Chinese market an intimidating and confusing place, but it does not have to be.
Here are the top three Chinese search engines you need to be aware of if you want to succeed at digital marketing in China.
Most popular Chinese search engines
- Baidu 64%
- Sogou 26%
- Shenma 5%
Let’s take a look at each one in more detail.
With 64% of the search engine market share, Baidu is the most popular search engine in China, which makes it a very important channel for your Chinese SEO and PPC efforts. It offers a wide variety of tools, such as a keyword planner, search term reports and over 30 advertising products. However, you should be aware that the marketing platform is written in simplified Chinese and it is becoming increasingly difficult to open a Baidu account if you are in the medical, pharmaceutical or financial sectors.
Sogou is the second most popular search engine in China, with a 26% market share. Given the enormous size of the Chinese online population, it is another very important channel when targeting the country. Make sure you include Sogou in your Chinese search marketing strategy.
Shenma is the third most popular search engine in China and it focuses solely on mobile search; there is no desktop version. It is the default search engine on many mobile phones, and with mobile traffic increasing, it is an essential channel if you want to try a mobile marketing strategy in the country. It offers search, e-commerce, advertising and analytics products.
I hope this has given you a useful introduction to the top three Chinese search engines. For more in-depth information, read our free guide below.
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