Baidu Emerges as Winner After Google Ends Conflict With China
After winning permission from China’s government to continue to operate in the country, Google Inc. must now fight for relevance as Baidu Inc. extends its dominance in the world’s largest internet market.
Uncertainty over whether Google would be forced out of China, prompted some advertisers to switch to Beijing-based Baidu. Google had its license renewed last week after it stopped automatically sending Chinese users offshore.
“There is a big gap between Baidu and Google, and that gap has got bigger,” said Vincent Kobler, managing director of Emporio Leo Burnett, a Shanghai advertising agency that specializes in online marketing. “It’s going to be tough for Google, even with the renewed license, to gain market share.”
Google’s market share in China fell to 30.9 percent in the first quarter from 35.6 percent three months earlier, according to data from research firm Analysys International. Baidu’s share increased to a record 64 percent from 58.4 percent, according to Analysys.