Things are heating up between China’s search engine leader Baidu and rival Qihoo, who got into search with an Internet Explorer-esque browser in 2012. Google is almost irrelevant in China with a 1.6 percent market share.
Baidu had 71.7 percent share of page-views at the beginning of 2013, but ended the year with a 63.1 percent share. Baidu’s loss was Qihoo’s gain. Qihoo jumped to a 22.5 percent share in December 2013 from 10.4 percent in December 2012 according to data from CNZZ.
While the market share decline may be worrisome for Baidu, its mobile search engine is several years ahead of its rivals, especially Qihoo. Tech in Asia noted that Baidu has “the best smartphone strategy and mobile app ecosystem of any of its local rivals.”
For mobile search, access to local information is crucial and Qihoo currently does not provide any of that. According to Tech in Asia, “Qihoo’s search engine (so.com) gives you a bunch of links when you search ‘Starbucks’ on your phone, whereas Baidu actually makes itself useful (if you scroll down the first page a bit) by showing you the nearest Starbucks branches along with a handy button for you to call the store.”
image credit: hi tricia