Navigating the search market in China can feel like a daunting task, especially with its unique dynamics and key players. As a marketing manager who’s grappled with this very issue, I know firsthand how crucial understanding these statistics and data is.
Fortunately, I’ve extensively researched just that – with surprising observations like Baidu having 657 million monthly active users back in March 2023 – and condensed it into an easy-to-understand guide.
KPI and Results focused. We are the most visible Marketing Agency for China. Not because of huge spending but because of our SMART Strategies. Let us help you with: E-Commerce, Search Engine Optimization, Advertising, Weibo, WeChat, WeChat Store & PR.
Get ready to unravel all about the Chinese search engine landscape!
- Baidu is the dominant search engine in China, with over 59% of the market share.
- Bing and Sogou are also popular search engines in China, holding significant market shares.
- Google has a smaller presence in the Chinese market due to being banned, but still processes many searches related to global or localized content.
- Shenma is gaining popularity as a mobile-first search engine co-founded by Alibaba and UCWeb.
- The revenue of China’s search engine market is approximately $26 billion, primarily generated through advertising.
- Mobile device usage for searching is increasing in China, along with a rise in voice search and interest in health-related and e-commerce searches.
- VPN usage among Chinese netizens is common due to internet censorship.
Leading Search Engines in China
Baidu is the big dog in China’s search market. It gets approximately 6 billion clicks every day, showing it has won over many users. As a marketing manager, you want to note this high search volume in Baidu.
It’s important to know that Baidu is the leading search engine in China. It has the highest market share, capturing over 59% of the search market. Baidu holds a dominant position and is widely used by both desktop and mobile users.
With its extensive user base, Baidu has a strong hold on the search market in China, making it an essential platform for businesses looking to reach Chinese consumers online.
But there’s more! Baidu isn’t just a search engine. They also sell bikes and work on self-driving cars. This diversification helps them stand out among local search engines in China.
The growth of Baidu in the Chinese market shows they’ve found success thanks to their unique mix of services beyond searches alone.
Bing is a major player in the search engine market in China. It holds about 17% of this vast market, proving its worth among top engines like Baidu, Sogou, and Haosou. Although Bing does quite well globally, it doesn’t come close to Baidu’s lead here.
Even though not as dominant as Baidu, Bing’s presence in the Chinese market is still strong. With stiff competition vying for a share of China’s internet users, every percentage point counts.
In the search engine market, Sogou shines as the second most popular choice in China. It holds a 9.26% market share on all devices. I think it’s because Tencent, a big internet company in China, backs it up.
Sogou introduced innovative features like its Sogou Input Method, a popular Chinese-language input software that offers predictive text and language processing.
With such strength and support, I believe Sogou will keep doing well in this fierce competition among Chinese search engines.
You might be interested to know about Google’s presence in the Chinese search engine market. While Google is a leading search engine worldwide, its market share in China is relatively small.
In August 2023, Google held just 2.04% of the Chinese search engine market. Its subsidiary, Google China, ranked fourth in the online search market with a 1.95% share. However, it’s worth noting that since 2013, Google’s market presence in China has slowly risen after declining from its peak of 36.2% in August 2009.
Despite these figures, Google still processes around 63,000 searches, and approximately 46% of all searches on their platform are related to local content. So while its influence may be smaller than other search engines in China like Baidu and Sogou, it still plays a role for those looking for global information or localized content on the internet.
This limited presence in China is due to the fact that Google is banned in the country. As a result, its search business in China contributes only a small fraction of its annual revenue.
It was co-founded by Alibaba and UCWeb, and it launched in April 2014. Shenma is known as a “mobile-first” search engine, meaning it prioritizes mobile searches.
In the Chinese search market, Shenma has claimed a market share of 3.8%. This makes it one of the top five search engines in China.
Shenma, the second-largest mobile search engine in China, is becoming more popular among users. As Baidu’s prominence increased, Shenma gradually ceded its position over time. Its mobile market share, which was at 35% in February 2018, has in 2023 diminished significantly to 5.82%.
The second place can be attributed to Shenma’s deep integration with Alibaba’s products and its focus on capitalizing on the mobile search market.
Interesting Facts about China’s Search Engine Market
Revenue of the Search Engine Market
The revenue of the search engine market in China is approximately $26 billion. Baidu, one of the leading search engines in China, has experienced rapid growth since its establishment in 2000.
By June 2022, approximately 821.5 million individuals in China were utilizing search engines, indicating consistent expansion over recent years. That means around 78.2% of internet users in China used search engines.
The competition among players in the Chinese search engine sector is fierce as everyone strives to capture a larger share of the market.
Popular Search Trends
I’ve noticed some interesting search trends in China. One popular trend is the increasing use of mobile devices for searching. About 98% of Chinese internet users access search engines through their smartphones.
Another trend is the rise in voice search, where people use their voices instead of typing to perform searches. This technology has become more accurate and convenient, leading to its popularity among Chinese netizens.
Additionally, there has been a growing interest in health-related searches, with topics like fitness, diet plans, and mental well-being being highly searched for.
Lastly, e-commerce-related searches are also on the rise as online shopping continues to grow in China.
VPN Usage Among Chinese Netizens
VPN usage among Chinese netizens is quite common. In fact, up to 31% of Chinese internet users use a VPN. This is because China has strict internet censorship and many people turn to VPNs as a way to bypass these restrictions and maintain their online privacy and freedom.
With the Great Firewall of China in place, VPNs allow users to evade censorship and access blocked websites or content. It’s interesting to note that VPN usage is particularly popular among Chinese youth who are eager to escape the limitations imposed by internet surveillance.
The increasing use of VPNs in China reflects the growing demand for digital privacy and the desire for unrestricted access to information on the Internet.
We are the SEO Experts in China!
The search market in China is dominated by Baidu, followed by Bing and Sogou. Google has a smaller presence, while Shenma is gaining popularity. Interesting facts about the search engine market include revenue figures, popular search trends, and VPN usage among Chinese netizens.
With the rapid growth in online retail sales and an increasing number of internet users in China, the search market is expected to continue evolving.
If you require assistance with any aspect of search engine optimization, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.