Google Steps up Fight for the China Market
From Reuters: Google steps up fight for the China market
"Web services leader Google Inc. has won a licence to operate in China and has bought a Web address as it battles Yahoo Inc. in the world's second-largest Internet market. (...) A person familiar with the matter told Reuters the company was planning to open an office by the end of this year, most likely in Shanghai, and was building up a country team to target corporate customers for advertising sales."
"Google last year purchased a small stake in China's leading search engine, Baidu.com, which is now in the process of pursuing an overseas listing. Google has not commented on the strategy behind the purchase."
"China's online search market was worth an estimated 1.25 billion yuan ($ 151 M) last year, up 81 percent from 2003, according to Shanghai iResearch.
But competition is intensifying. Baidu led the market with a 36.3 percent share, followed by Yahoo with 22.7 percent and Google with 21.2 percent.
Last week, another major local Internet player, Sina Corp. (SINA), said it had completed work on a self-developed search engine and was testing the technology and expected a full launch of the product later this quarter.
Other rivals include Nasdaq-listed Sohu.com Inc. (SOHU), whose name means "search fox" in Chinese. Software giant Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) MSN network also operates a search engine at its China site, china.msn.com."
More on Chinese Search Market:
Approval of Google's Plans to Expand Mainland China Operations
Chinese search engine market seen as gold mine
China's largest Web search engine Baidu plans IPO