Since its highly publicized exit from China in 2010, Google has still managed to maintain marketshare despite intermittent cutouts and the occasional throttling of services. Yet the trend has been gradually negative for Google’s overall applicability in Mainland China as the competition continues to gain on a number of fronts in its absence .
This extends to all aspects of Google’s business, including its navigation software. As of yesterday, Google Maps has reportedly fallen drastically from the rankings in China’s mobile map market. The quarterly report from Analysys reveals that Google Maps is now sixth place in terms of marketshare, a far cry from its top three ranking in Q2.
Autonavi maintains its position in first place with a marketshare of 25.9%. Google, however, has plummeted to 9.0%, largely because of iOS 6 licensing issues that have essentially cut Google out from Apple’s market. Baidu Maps gained 2% this quarter, accounting for 19.1% of market share and closing in on Autonavi.
There is a very real threat that Google will lose all influence in China if it does not make a concerted effort to reinvigorate its marketshare. Though they still make an impressive showing, there is a clear and present danger that they will become irrelevant.
Baidu, on the other hand, serves to gain from this trend, as they are dedicating their LBS team entirely to Baidu Maps. Autonavi will need to make a strategic move in the coming months if it wishes to maintain its position.
It is easy to imagine the scenario where Baidu becomes the dominant mobile map service and Google is forced to quietly remove its remaining operations in China.
Source: Tencent Tech