Google Ruffles Chinese Internet

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Google announced on March 23 2015 that its Chrome browser will stop listing Chinese internet websites because of breaches in digital certificate security. This is a step backwards. Social Brand Watch hopes it does not cause an internet cold war. Knowledge is more important than politics and we must keep the balance.

What Happens if Google Goes Ahead?

Google’s decision impacts this analytic by Chinese internet web browser Baidu. It reveals that Chrome currently attracts 32% of Chinese searches. Internet Explorer follows at 26%. No doubt Baidu has gone into overdrive on the subject of an impending major shakeup. In China, internet usage is increasing by leaps and bounds and nothing should slow this down.

Chinese InternetHow Chinese Internet Business Should Respond

Internet users are fickle. This unstable environment makes adaptable websites essential if they are to hold consumer attention. Social Brand Watch worked with Chinese internet companies recently. We was surprised to find how relatively underdeveloped many of their websites were. Deficiencies noted included:

  • Push marketing with few opportunities for consumers to interact
  • Low use of web safe fonts resulting in browsers displaying differently
  • Little effort at scalability to accommodate different size devices
  • An alarming number of spam popups and advertisements
  • A general lack of national identity ignoring the power of Brand China

Testing a website on a single browser can be a recipe for disaster, especially for Chinese internet designers who targeted Chrome and ignored Internet Explorer’s way of interpreting code. For Chinese ecommerce to compete in European and American markets it must become adaptable to more than just consumer preferences.

Testing a website on a single browser can be a recipe for disaster, especially for Chinese internet designers who targeted Chrome and ignored Internet Explorer’s way of interpreting code. For Chinese ecommerce to compete in European and American markets it must become adaptable to more than just consumer preferences.

Window into Chinese Internet Regulator

The attitude of China’s CNNIC regulator is interesting. Does this reveal disinterest in following Western standards for internet regulation? The security breach is serious for it opens the opportunity for hackers to bypass controls, and access the end user’s equipment by pretending to be the actual site.

A Reprieve for Some But Just for Now

Breaking news is that CNNIC and Google agreed a temporary truce on April 1st, whereby Chrome will allow current arrangements to continue for a short while longer. During this period Social Brand Watch recommends affected Chinese internet-enabled businesses take urgent steps to improve their digital security, if they wish to continue to appear on Chrome’s listings.

According to Mail Online, Chrome is moving ahead of Internet Explorer in America, and we believe this pattern is similar in Europe.

Chinese feathers

About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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