But anyway, back to the point. VICE's magazine feed "Motherboard" a few months ago ran a piece on the dominant websites in countries around the globe. It's a fairly interesting piece, with one glaring misstatement, easily spotted to anyone with the remotest familiarity with Korea (emphasis mine):
A second map shows the same data but the countries are drawn according to population instead of geographic size. Viewed through that lens, it’s clear that Baidu, which dominates super-dense China and South Korea, shouldn’t be discountedSince when does Baidu have any but a negligible presence in Korea? South Korea is dominated by its homegrown search portal Naver, a simple fact discovered by any web search. Some estimates place Naver's dominance at between 70~80%. This, in addition to the presumably obvious fact that the article's author, Meghan Neal, seems to have overlooked: Koreans speak Korean, not Chinese. Granted, international behemoths like Google provide localized language versions, but Baidu has only limited resources available in English (notably, a blog in English and a developer-only site), and as far as this author can tell, does not provide any Korean language option.
Now, the Motherboard article is essentially a puff piece, reprinting the results of a study apparently undertaken by Information Geographies at the Oxford Internet Institute.These guys (smarty pants Oxford scholars that they are) were awake enough to catch-on to this, and offer this caveat:
The situation is more complex in Asia, as local competitors have been able to resist the two large American empires. Baidu is well known as the most used search engine in China, which is currently home to the world’s largest Internet population at over half a billion users. At the same time, we see a puzzling fact that Baidu is also listed as the most visited website in South Korea (ahead of the popular South Korean search engine, Naver). We speculate that the raw data that we are using here are skewed. However, we may also be seeing the Baidu empire in the process of expanding beyond its traditional home territory.