Two changes in Chinese leadership?

Posted on October 24, 2012


It’s become increasingly clear over the past few weeks that something fishy is going on with Google in China.

It’s not generally the most stable search engine and can often hang and even drop off entirely; many’s the time I’ve had to rethink and even use Baidu to get what I need.  But as we run up to the change in leadership, it feels as though Google has committed some kind of new transgression and has become almost completely ineffective.

It’s not just iGoogle that is struggling to load, the basic search takes much longer and, if and when search results finally do appear the only sure fire way to access the websites is to copy and paste the URL – expecting to click through is foolhardy.

This represents a real opportunity for someone – and it’s not necessarily Baidu.

Stats may back this up, but given the fact that Baidu doesn’t do a great job of indexing foreign websites, anecdotally, at least, people are turning to Bing as their search engine of choice.  Something that surprised me as much as the next man (who tells me that this is happening more and more in China based MNCs.)

So could it be that China is the answer to Microsoft’s prayers?  Has the irresistible force that is Google finally met the immovable object that is the Chinese government?

It may all right itself by the time the change of government has gone through – but if Bing does well in the meantime, will Google win those customers back or will it have lost the China market entirely?