On Friday, CEO Eric Schmidt stated that the No. 2 in China’s Web search market which is giving its local managers more autonomy and investing more in China in order to make up to its late entry and also to lead in the industry.
Schmidt told the reporters that they are catching up. They are working on the investment and soon they will be the leader.
According to market data company iResearch Inc., in China’s search market, Google has 21.7 percent and the industry leader is Baidu.com which has 55 percent.
Schmidt stated that Google was gaining market share but he did not gave any figures. But he is confident that Google’s greater financial and technical resources can help close the gap.
In January 2006, Google went to China to launch its China-based search site, Google.cn. A year ago, Google opened a Beijing research center.
Schmidt stated that Google is planning to give its China operation, better autonomy to develop new products and respond to the local market which will be led by Kai-Fu Li, a former Microsoft Corp. vice president.
He added that there this year one of the biggest projects is to press on more autonomy and more decision-making to Kai-Fu and his team.
China has the second-largest population of Internet users of the world, with about 137 million people online, and in two years, is on its way to beat the United States as the largest online population.
In past months, Baidu tried to make an expansion on its appeal by striking deals with Viacom Inc.’s MTV Networks to allocate music videos online and with recording company EMI Group PLC for streaming music.
Google’s struggle in China includes its failure to insistently promote online music and to offer its G-Mail service on Google.cn, the industry analysts stated.
Lee refused to state whether Google was planning to start music or e-mail services in China.