Google Unveils China's 2008 Most Popular Search Terms

YouTube? No. Facebook? Nope. Yahoo, eBay, MySpace? No, no and no.

The only U.S. name to make Google's 2008 most popular keyword search list for China was NBA (National Basketball Association), at No. 10. In fact, the NBA was the only non-Internet company to make the list, with the others all popular Chinese sites for news, videos, file sharing and more.

If Google's top keyword search list for China in 2008 can be considered a guide, U.S. Internet companies continue to be stymied by Chinese Web firms.

Google itself is an also-ran in China's Internet search market, where Baidu.com reigns supreme with around 65 percent of all searches in China at the end of the second quarter.

Still, Google's 2008 most-searched lists make for an interesting look into what China's Internet users are viewing.

The most popular search on Google in China during 2008 was for Sina, one of the most popular portals in the country. Another portal, Netease, came in second. The online auction site Taobao, which is owned by Alibaba.com, took third, while video-sharing sites Youku and Tudou, placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

Tencent's QQ, which makes the most popular instant messaging software in China, came in sixth in the Google ranking. Sohu, which runs a popular news portal and search engine, was seventh.

Peer-to-peer (P-to-P) sharing sites took the remaining spots in Google's China ranking. Xunlei, a popular P-to-P file-sharing software provider that was sued by members of the Motion Picture Association for copyright infringement earlier this year, came in at eighth. UUsee, a P-to-P streaming video Web site, was ranked ninth.

Google also reported other 2008 word lists for China, one with search terms that grew fastest this year. This list included mainly popular news items or events, including actor Edison Chen in the top spot after a photo scandal in which racy pictures of himself with a number of prominent Hong Kong actresses, singers and others appeared on the Internet.

Other words on the list included the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympic Games; the Sichuan earthquake, which struck in May and killed around 70,000 people; and a list of unqualified milk powder brands, from the scandal in China in which melamine-laced milk killed several Chinese infants and hospitalized tens of thousands.

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