Baidu-Google Rivalry Continues
Baidu has a huge share of the Chinese search market.Â Google does not.Â And as if that wasnâ€™t bad enough (from the American companyâ€™s perspective), people are once again noticing that Baidu has made fun of its Mountain View-based competitor.
Computerworldâ€™s Sumner Lemon reports the content of an advertisement in which a â€œWestern man . . . speaking heavily accented Chineseâ€ interacts with â€œa suave Chinese man dressed in scholarâ€™s robes laughs.â€Â Iâ€™d never seen this commercial – turns out it was put on YouTube over a year ago – but itâ€™s an interesting video.
â€œAs the ad unfolds, the Chinese scholar proceeds to humiliate the Westerner, mocking his poor Chinese-language skills,â€ writes Lemon.Â â€œIn the end . . . the Westerner is left confused, alone and humiliated.â€Â These characters represent Baidu and Google, by the way.
Iâ€™m not offended – it generally takes more than a commercial to bother me – but can you imagine what would happen if Google put out commercials making fun of a Chinese manâ€™s English?Â Aside from the hubbub over Google actually making a commercial, I donâ€™t think it would be a good PR move.
Thatâ€™s just a side note, though.Â The real problem (again, from Googleâ€™s point of view) is that the advertisement may be close to reality.Â Gord Hotchkiss, who serves as the CEO of Enquiro and also writes for Search Engine Land, notes, â€œThe homegrown competition, Baidu, has a 62% market share.Â Google has a 20% market share.Â And Google seems to be struggling to grow its market share.Â In fact, itâ€™s been slipping . . .â€
Google needs to do something – perhaps, as Baidu implies, become more familiar with Chinese – in order to arrest this slide.
About the Author