Google is reportedly looking to re-enter the Chinese search market after the company decided to leave the market eight years ago, citing repeated cyberattacks, the surveillance of human rights activists and censorship as reasons for the drastic measure. According to a New York Times
report, Google is now looking to reverse that decision and is already working on a censored search engine for China that would block websites and search terms blacklisted by the Chinese government.
A return to China wouldn’t be a huge surprise because, questions about censorship and human rights notwithstanding, it is a giant market that few global players looking for growth can afford to ignore. Getting back into the Chinese market won’t be easy for the world’s largest search engine provider though. Chinese internet users live in what might be described as a parallel online universe, using Chinese services such as WeChat, Alibaba and, in terms of search, Baidu where the rest of the world uses Facebook, Amazon and Google.
The following chart, based on StatCounter data
, shows how differently the Chinese search market looks from its counterparts in the United States and Europe.