Google China Exec: Mobile-Search Volume May Exceed PCs In Three Years

Google (NSDQ: GOOG) still trails Baidu (NSDQ: BIDU) in online search in China but has high hopes for mobile growth, Google’s China president Lee Kai-Fu said in an interview with Bloomberg News this week. “In some quarters, our mobile traffic will double, whereas it will take perhaps a year to double on the PC side … Looking over a three-year horizon, I know that affordable 3G will happen. … We find that Chinese mobile users are very cost sensitive.”

He suggested that mobile-search volume may exceed that from computers in three years. Google already leads Baidu in the category thanks to an exclusive search deal with China Mobile Ltd. But, as a Baidu spokeswoman pointed out to Bloomberg, the Chinese company will provide search services for fixed-line carrier China Netcom Group Corp. Mobile search overall should take off after the Chinese government issues 3G licenses.

For a sense of scope, also via Bloomberg, according to China’s Ministry of Information Industry, at the end of February, China had 565.2 million mobile-phone users — more than the population of the U.S. and Japan combined.

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