Google to lose most important Chinese partner: Sina

16:27, March 30, 2011      

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Since Google's public exit from mainland China last year, its cooperative partners have left it one-by-one, now a reliable resource has revealed that Sina, one of its most important partners, decided on March 29 to ditch Google's search engine, according to Beijing Commercial.

Now, Google has to worry about a gloomier future in China since its market share has been dropping in the world's second biggest economy.

As of now, the search engine service provided by Google has already been replaced by Sina's own search engine. A Sina official said the cooperative contract between Sina and Google will expire at the end of March.

In the middle of last year, Cao Guowei, the CEO of Sina, made it clear that the two giants would go separate ways when he announced his company had formed a team to develop a search engine to replace Google, and the company would be ready to change service providers at any time.

So far, Google refused to give any comments on this occasion. However, its spokesperson Jennie Johnson emphasized that "While we can't comment on specific partnerships, we announced last year that over time we would not be syndicating censored search to partners in China after fulfilling our contractual commitments."

On March 23 of last year, Google announced its withdrawal from the Chinese mainland and moved its server to Hong Kong. Over the course of the whole year, there seemed to be no end to Google's troubles.

Although Google stressed many times that it would never give up the Chinese market, its market share revenue has slipped to lowest point, from which Baidu, its main opponent in China, benefited a lot and maintained its competitive advantage over Google.

In the last three months of 2010, Google fell from 21.6 percent to 19.6 percent in the third quarter and from a peak of 35.6 percent in the last three months of 2009, according to Beijing research firm Analysys International. Meanwhile, Baidu made an increase from 58.4 percent to 73 percent in the same period.

Google's No. 1 position as a search engine giant has also been challenged from time to time. Recently, Facebook started testing its own search service and a search alliance jointly built by Software and Yahoo is wresting away much market share at the same time.

By Wang Hanlu, People's Daily Online
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