“Study history, not the media. The truth is not to be found in a television broadcast.” – Chris D. Nebe, director-producer-screenwriter of the “Mysterious China” documentary series which showcases the epic cultural heritage of China
FRANKLY, I DON’T KNOW what to make out of the Tibetan protests. I’ve not spent significant time researching on the issues involved. However, from what I know and remember of Chinese history, I feel quite strongly that Chris Nebe (as a foreigner with insider knowledge and experience of China) is speaking the truth about Tibet in the video here:
RECENTLY, CHINESE BLOGGER KESO published an interesting series of articles discussing Baidu.com (百度) and four of its competitors: Google China, Sina, Tencent QQ, & Alibaba. This has made me very curious: What’s so great about Baidu?
According to a New York Times report in September 2006 (quoting Bloomberg stats), Baidu is the leading Chinese language site, with a market share of around 57 percent for search engines and around 50 percent for advertising revenue. Google, the closest second, only has around 33 percent market share for search engines and 16 percent for advertising revenue. Baidu is reportedly very strong in Chinese MP3 music content and the first to offer WAP and PDA-based mobile search in China.
Going by Alexa’s Traffic Rankings, Baidu is within the Top 10 worldwide and Number 1 in China. The other top 9 sites in China are (details extracted and summarized from Wikipedia):
Tencent QQ 腾讯网: The most popular free instant messaging software in Asia, and the world’s third most popular IM service. Over 160 million QQ users in China alone. Offers many subfeatures including games, pets, ringtone downloads, etc.
Sina.com.cn 新浪新闻中心: The largest Chinese-language infotainment web portal, with over 30 channels covering various aspects, including news, sports, technology, finance, advertising, entertainment, fashion, travel and more.
Sohu.com 搜狐: Offers advertising, a search engine, and other services.
Taobao.com 淘宝网: A consumer-to-consumer trade site for Chinese customers. The main competitor to eBay in China for online auctions. Currently captures over 65% of the e-auction market. Part of the Alibaba 阿里巴巴 e-commerce conglomerate.
Yahoo! China 雅虎中国: News, information, email, and a search engine
Google China 谷歌中国: Enables users to search the Web, Usenet, and images. Features include PageRank, caching and translation of results, and an option to find similar pages.
TOM Online: A mobile Internet company, offering a variety of online and mobile services, including wireless internet and online advertising.
I’VE JUST CREATED a bilingual blog on Baidu Spaces «百度空间» called «拍掌丛林» (hehe “ClappingTrees” as usual, not literal translation though ) and using “descendent of DongShan” «东山后裔» for my pen name. My experience with Baidu had been such a breeze. So many beautiful templates to choose from. Modules which are add-on plugins in WordPress are already there by default, e.g. Recent Readers, Baidu Search, Visitor Stats, “Read More”, social networking (”Add xxx as friend”).
At first impressions, besides the minimalist search (搜藏) interface, Baidu seems to offer many services similar to those offered in Google: e.g. news (新闻), images (图片), maps (地图), video (视频), Blogger-equivalent (空间), BlogSearch (博客搜索) and toolbar (超级搜霸). However, one key difference seems to be in the extent of integration. Unlike Google, the many services in Baidu feel like subfeatures of ONE service and not many separate services. I only need to log in once.
What do you think? Have you used Baidu and Google? Which do you prefer, and why?