While Google is the leader for mobile search with over 90% of the market share on a global basis, they have recently suffered a setback in China.
Last year, in the month of June, Google had a market share of 23.6% in China, for mobile search, making them the second most popular search engine in that region after the local Baidu.
However, things have changed quite drastically in the last few months.
Google had a major disagreement with the Chinese authorities this year in January, following a spate of cyber-attacks on their properties. After this they decided that they did not want to bow down to the Chinese rules and regulations regarding censorship, and that eventually led to them pulling out of the Chinese search market.
Their users from the mainland were referred to the Hong Kong search site which remains uncensored.
This move probably did not go down too well with users, who may have felt some discomfort or unhappiness with the situation. A large number of users then switched loyalties to other search engines.
Handset makers such as Nokia and Motorola, who normally use Google as the default search engine have also made the necessary changes and are now using Baidu as the built-in search engine on their handsets in China.
As a result of this Google has now dropped to third place in the Chinese search market, with a market share of only 12.3% in the end of June 2010.
The Shenzhen based search engine Easou now comes in at second place with 16.9% of the market share, while Baidu retains the top slot with 34.3% of the market share.