The Battle for the Hearts and Searches of China’s Web Surfers
From Chicago Tribune:
"The Mountain View, Calif.-based behemoth [Google] has set its sights on capturing the vast and lucrative China Internet market, the world’s second-largest. But Baidu beat them to it, and the canny, swift-footed competitor is proving exceptionally tough on its home field.
Baidu has virtually copied Google’s clean-screen look, but the rest of the Baidu game plan is original. It plays to nationalist advantage by attacking Google as a foreign invader. It promotes itself in such splashy ways as a huge neon sign on the banks of the Pearl River in Shanghai. And it has flourished by aggressively marketing itself in ways verboten at Google: Baidu lets advertisers pay for placement in its search results.
The formula is working. Despite a big marketing push from Google over the last year, Baidu is the first choice of 62 percent of Chinese users, up 15 points over 2005, according to a study released in September by the China Internet Network Information Center. Google’s share dropped eight points, to 25 percent - a rare setback."