Baidu widens lead in mobile internet search

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 September, 2010, 12:00am

Baidu increased its lead in the mainland's fast-growing mobile search sector in the second quarter while former close rival Google lost more market share and was replaced as No2 by domestic firm Easou.

The average daily volume of mobile searches through the handsets of subscribers grew 9.6 per cent to 401.3 million in the quarter to June from the previous quarter, according to estimates released yesterday by research firm Analysys International.

Baidu, the country's top internet search service provider, expanded its mobile market share to 34.33 per cent from 29.08 per cent.

In a recent report, JP Morgan analysts said Baidu's Web traffic received a boost after Google, which had a much-publicised row with mainland authorities over censorship-free online searches and alleged hacker attacks, redirected the operation of its simplified-Chinese website to servers in Hong Kong. Google subsequently backtracked, enabling it to renew in July its operating licence on the mainland.

But the renewal did not prevent the United States firm from seeing its mobile search share 'in sharp decline', according to Analysys. It only had a 12.29 per cent share in the past quarter, against 17.58 per cent in the first. That was enough for smaller rival Easou to seize the No2 position with a 16.91 per cent share.

The mainland's other top mobile search providers were 3GYY, with 11.57 per cent of the market; Yicha, with 10.32 per cent; Tencent Holdings' Soso, with 8.21 per cent; Wukong, with 3.65 per cent; and internet gaming firm NetEase's Youdao, with 1.31 per cent.