Yahoo is still HK's top search engine

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 July, 2012, 12:00am


Related topics

In most markets it was long ago surpassed by Google as the most popular search engine, but Yahoo still rules the roost in Hong Kong.That makes the city a unique and important market for Yahoo's first woman CEO.

Lorraine Cheung, head of audience at Yahoo Hong Kong, welcomed the appointment of former Google executive Marissa Mayer to the firm's top job, but declined to comment on how Mayer might influence Hong Kong operations.

'I'm happy and excited but we don't have any further comment,' Cheung said.

Mayer - Google's 20th employee and its first female engineer - is among a handful of woman technology executives. Her appointment grabbed headlines last week when she also said she was due to give birth in October and would work through her maternity leave.

Yahoo launched its Hong Kong service - which is only available in Chinese - in 1999 and has more than 4 million unique users in the city, according to web analytics firm ComScore.

'The demographic in 2000 was a bit younger than now,' said Cheung, who joined Yahoo in 2001. 'Now, over 70 per cent of our users are aged over 25 years and those aged over 54 years account for 8 per cent.'

Yahoo Hong Kong ranked second only to Facebook for hits in the city in May, said internet tracking firm Experian Hitwise. YouTube, Google Hong Kong and rounded out the top five.

When Yahoo first launched, it was mainly a navigational site with links to other pages.

It had minimal graphics as most people browsed using painfully slow dial-up connections.

As broadband connections grew, thanks to cheaper and faster technology, the site introduced more graphics and features that were tailored to the local market, with a focus on news and celebrities.

In 2004, the English version of the Hong Kong site was shut down due to low usage and those users were re-directed to the United States site.

There are currently no plans to reintroduce an English version of the Hong Kong site.