Baidu, Google dominate Net search in China

The Chinese company is beating the U.S. search giant in major cities, a study says, though Google remains popular among high-end users.

A new report claims China's search engine market is dominated by Baidu.com and Google, with Baidu attracting more users in the country's major cities.

The China Internet Network Information Center's report, released Monday, is based on the user data in three cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

In Beijing, Baidu attracts about 52 percent of search engine users, while 33 percent opt for Google, according to the study. The top two search engines are followed by Sohu (4.6 percent), Sina (4 percent), Yahoo China (3.7 percent) and other search engines (a combined 3.3 percent).

For search content, Baidu's entertainment content--including MP3 downloads--is popular. The search engine recently has come under fire from music companies alleging that its MP3 search service infringes their intellectual-property rights.

Google is most frequently visited for enterprise products, business opportunities, transportation services and travel searches.

Study author Lu Weigang said Google, in contrast to Baidu, tends to attract high-end users--those who are well educated and have relatively high incomes. Baidu is favored by students, who account for a relatively large part of China's search population, according to the report. About 40 to 50 percent of Baidu users are students, the report said.