China’s mobile market is continuously growing, so it’s obvious that its mobile search market is also growing – especially since China Mobile and China Unicom have started to offer 3G services across the country (TD-SCDMA and UMTS, respectively).
The two giant mobile carriers currently have more than 600 million subscribers and, although only about 40 million of them are using mobile search services, there’s still a huge potential for search engines.
At the moment, Baidu is the most popular PC search engine in China (with a market share over 60%), while Google is on the second place. However, things are different when it comes to mobile search engines – Baidu and Google both have about 26% of the market each.
It’s estimated that China’s mobile market will worth more than 1,200 billion yuan by 2010, while mobile advertising industry might worth more than 1 billion yuan ($146 million) in the same year. So both Google and Baidu will try to gain as much market share as possible.
Google theoretically has an advantage – its Android OS. Most of the Chinese Android users are likely to use Google for mobile searches (since Google’s services are preinstalled on Android devices). However, Google would benefit from this only if Android will become popular across China and attract millions of customers. We don’t know if this will happen, but it’s definitely possible.
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