How North American Search Companies Faltered in China

Robin Li, Baidu

What is it that American search companies have failed to understand in China? Baidu’s CEO Robin Li asserts numerous reasons that foreign-based search tools underestimated the growth of China’s online content in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. He first points out that the capabilities of Google and Yahoo! overseas did not match China’s tremendous scale of content growth. In addition, North American companies underestimated the fierce competition and entrepreneurial spirit of the Chinese. And many Internet companies coming to China did not plan for the long-term investment necessary to fully mesh with the local market.