When you think of Google, you no doubt think of world domination (in terms of search engines!), but this actually isn’t the case. Google isn’t the number one search engine in one of the world’s biggest country, China.
China’s most popular search engine, Baidu, accounts for around three out of four online searches and now it has just dealt Google another blow. Baidu have announced that many of its popular services will be pre-installed on next-generation mobile phones from local carrier China Unicom. Baidu will also provide search for mobile internet sites run by China Unicom and the soon to be released iPhone.
Here is what Xuyang Ren, Baidu VP of Marketing and Business Development, said about the deal:
We are very excited to join hands with China Unicom today following our partnership agreement with China Telecom in May. As leader in Chinese language search, we hope that Baidu’s cooperation with major telecom providers in China will accelerate the development of 3G services and allow us to provide the rapidly growing population of mobile search users better access to information.
Chinese mobile users performed over 270 million web searches on their phones in the second quarter this year, more than twice as much as in the same period a year earlier, according to local research company Analysys International. Google and Baidu each took about 26 percent of the mobile searches, but this is no doubt likely to change with the latest news.
Its not all bad news for Google, though, they already have a search deal with China Mobile, the countries biggest carrier and in last weeks earnings call, Google executives said that China had been a “strong performer” during the quarter. I wonder how much longer this “strength” will continue as a result of this new Baidu-China Unicom deal.