The search engine market in China is growing rapidly, with individual search engines scrambling to gain a foothold in the world’s second largest Internet market. According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), there were 137 million Internet users in China at the end of 2006. Current estimates range as high as 150 million or about 10.5% of the total population. China will soon replace the US as the world’s leader in the number of Internet users.
When it comes to search engines in China, Baidu holds a commanding lead with 62% of the market share, followed by Google with 20%, and the remaining 18% spread between MSN, Yahoo, SINA, and others (iResearch). China’s total search engine market revenue reached $64 million US in the first quarter of 2007, according to Analysys International. Piper Jaffray expects annual revenues from advertising on search sites in China to reach $1 billion US by 2010.