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November 07, 2012

Google Slips to Fourth Place in China

By David Delony, Contributing Writer

When you want to know something, you will usually Google (News - Alert) it, but people in China are more likely to Baidu something.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based search company has fallen to fourth place in China, according to research firm CNZZ.

Baidu has captured nearly 73 percent of the total search engine market share, compared with Google’s 4.72 percent, giving the former a wide lead. Google dropped from 5.1 percent the previous month.

The decline has been attributed to the arrival of Qihoo 360, a new search engine. It’s already garnered 9.64 percent of the search engine market share in China, giving it the second place position next to Baidu.

Qihoo CEO Zhou Yongyi has said upon the site’s launch in August, the company is shooting for 15 to 20 percent, enough to cut into Baidu’s “monopoly.”

Qihoo, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, is set to release its third quarter earnings results on Nov. 19, followed by a conference call with management.

Qihoo’s success hasn’t come without some controversy. The site has allegedly ignored the robots.txt file, a component of many websites that tells a Web crawler program like Google’s how to interpret a site and which pages to avoid, in favor of simply copying other sites’ results.

The results are so questionable that the Chinese government has called a meeting of all the major search engines in order to have them sign an agreement to compete fairly.

Google’s other products have slipped in the country. Google Maps is now the sixth most popular mapping application in China, with only a 9 percent share. By contrast, the most popular mapping service is Autonavi, with 25.9 percent of the market. Baidu ranks second with 19.1 percent. Apple’s (News - Alert) mapping application use Autonavi data in China.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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