Press Release

Google Lacks Awareness Among Chinese Internet Users

- Pearl Research Publishes Report on Chinese Youth Search Engine Preferences

Please contact us at 415-738-7660 or email research (at) pearlresearch.com for a sample of the report. Download the table of contents here.

San Francisco, CA, January 17, 2008 – Based on interviews with the Chinese youth demographic, Google continues to struggle with lower user awareness, compared to Chinese search engine Baidu. These findings are contained in consulting firm Pearl Research’s new report “Baidu vs. Google: A Study of Search Engine Preferences among Chinese Youth.”

“I believe that Google will continue to face challenges in competing with Baidu in the Chinese search engine market. Baidu’s lead is mostly a result of its Chinese brand, early market entry, strong entertainment functions and other youth-friendly features. However, many of our panel believed that Google offers a robust product with more relevant and precise search results.” said Allison Luong, Managing Director of Pearl Research.

Key findings of the report:

- Google is thought of as a foreign service which is not as suitable for Chinese searches
Our interviews indicate that many Chinese youth chose to use Baidu over Google because they believe Baidu is a domestic product and thus should be better at indexing Chinese content.

- Baidu’s strong multimedia entertainment search bolsters its popularity
Compared to Google, our panel indicated it is more convenient to locate multimedia content such as MP3 downloads on Baidu. The strong entertainment search function is one of the key factors for Baidu’s popularity over Google as more than 60% of the survey respondents listed music downloads as their main reason to go online.

- Baidu is a more recognizable name than Google
Baidu’s earlier entry into the Chinese search engine market and higher visibility via partnerships and software add-ons has made it a challenge for Google to gain users despite a number of brand-localizing strategies.

- Google has built strong brand loyalty with its users due to its robust information search capabilities
On the other hand, Pearl Research believes Google’s robust search capability enhances its ability to retain users better than Baidu. Google users showed strong loyalty to the search engine, commenting on the depth and precision of the results returned. Some of our panel switched to Google after unsatisfactory results from Baidu.

The study is part of Pearl Research’s Phoenix Generation series of report on Chinese youth. This exclusive study is based on Chinese consumer insight gleaned from 40 one-on-one interviews and a 450-person survey. To acquire a copy of the report or to request a briefing, please contact us at 415-738-7660 or email research (at) pearlresearch.com.

About Pearl Research
Pearl Research, a business intelligence and consulting firm, specializes in the Internet and digital entertainment market with a special focus on emerging markets and platforms. Based in San Francisco and China, Pearl Research publishes in-depth research reports and provides customized research and consulting services. For more information, please visit http://ww.pearlresearch.com or http://www.redlinechina.com

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