China Search Engine Market 2021 – What Overseas Brands Should Know

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As you start your new year, ramping up your SEO strategy for the China market is a top priority. As you all know, Google, YouTube, and a host of mainstream platforms and websites are inaccessible to Chinese consumers.

That being said, Baidu remains on top as the go-to search engine platform. As of this writing, the homegrown search engine has a global market share between 0.68% and 11.26% and processes billions of queries every month.

Here are a few things you need to know about the SEO market in China for 2021 so you can diversify your strategy. Below is a chart from GlobalStats.


Baidu has 66.88% of China’s market, whereas Sogou, Google, Bing, Haosou, and Shenma are also trying to share. Sogou remains in the second spot, which is the built-in search engine that users have on WeChat. Let’s have an overview of these top 5 search engines as of this time.

China Search Engine Market 2021 – Baidu is the leading search engine

Baidu is the leading search engine in China that controls 74% of user’s searches. Like Google, it’s constantly focusing on providing the best content for searches since the release of the algorithm update Hurricane in 2017.

It continuously cracks down those websites with poor content, and in 2020, released the StrongWind algorithm to take control of the quality of aggregator content. All in all, it focuses on providing an improved user experience while offering a variety of services like cloud storage, maps, and more for users.

Sogou: WeChat search engine

According to China Search Engine Market 2021, Sogou is the second largest search engine launched in 2004 and backed by one of the biggest tech companies in China: Tencent, the maker of WeChat. That’s why Sogou is also the mobile app’s built-in search engine whenever users search online; thus, these billion active users can also gather search results via WeChat Search.

On top of that, Sogou has also partnered with Zhihu, which is similar to Quora, a popular Q&A site, and Bing to provide the best content for users searching for a wide different range of topics. It has a huge potential because it’s the only search engine with access and is integrated into the biggest social app, WeChat.

Other search engines: Google China, Haosou, and Shenma

For Google China, users have limited access to it. Bing has a little bit of an edge over Google here because Sogou has partnered with the company. On the other hand, Haosu, a budding search engine, is owned by Qihoo360 and has a small market share. It’s the default search engine of the Qihoo360 browser. Meanwhile, Shenma is the joint venture of Alibaba and UCWeb, and although it’s a lesser-known platform, it focuses more on mobile search.

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