In China, mobile search is making significant strides toward matching the number of users – and level of penetration – of desktop search.
The latest numbers from the China Internet Network Information Center released in July 2016 show (Note: Linked study is in Mandarin) there are 566 million desktop search engine users, a 82.3 percent utilization rate, and 478 million mobile search users, which represents a 77.1 percent utilization rate. The report includes data current as of Dec. 2015.
Baidu is the clear leader in mobile search; 87.5 percent of mobile search users utilize it on their phone. The closest competitors are Sogou and 360 Search with penetration rates of 22.7 percent and 20.9 percent, respectively.
It’s a similar story with Baidu’s mobile app, which has earned the loyalty of a large portion (68.3 percent) of mobile users. Other search apps have much lower utilization – less than 10 percent of mobile users have tried 360 and Sogou search apps. Nearly a quarter of mobile users don’t use an app, indicating many users prefer to search directly in a mobile browser.
The majority of search engine users – 69.9 percent (desktop and mobile) – are taking notice of paid search ads, the data shows. However, users are still not fully trusting paid search ads; 66.8 percent indicate they do not trust ads, 11.9 percent do trust search engine ads.
China’s Newest Internet Users Prefer Mobile
A recent report published by iResearch China found that 70 percent of China’s newest internet users prefer to access the internet via mobile device. Furthermore, the rate at which the Chinese adopted mobile grew from 85 percent in 2014 to 90 percent by the end of 2015.
The study’s data revealed roughly half (50.3 percent) of China’s population is now connected to the web, a percentage that exceeds the global average by 3.9 percent and the Asian average by 10.1 percent.