Chinese googlers searching for money

By Wang Shanshan (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-01-03 07:25

"Sex" was the keyword most frequently used by Internet users on Google in Egypt, India and Turkey, the search engine giant said a couple of months ago.

But on the Chinese mainland, it was money and technology that took the honors last year, according to a list released by Google China on Tuesday.

Four of the top six were wealth-related: Three banks and "stock".

China Merchants Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank, ranked second, third and sixth, all having listed in 2006 and proving a big draw for investors.

Fourth on the list was "stock", not unsurprising with Shanghai shares having risen 97 percent last year after more than doubling the previous year.

Google users' passion for stocks was also reflected in another list, which ranked blogs that were most searched. The top two were written by securities analysts.

Besides, on the list of the 10 most googled sentences that start with "what is", seven were about stocks, including such questions as "what is a blue chip" and "what is an open-end fund".

In an information-driven age, the others on the list were: "QQ" - a Chinese instant message service and also an automobile brand - at No 1.

The others were: "game" (5th), "Google Earth" (7th), download tool "Thunder" (8th), the Chinese anti-virus software "Kaspersky" (9th), and "MSN" (10th).

But when it comes to Chinese, food can't be far behind.

Foreigners might be voting with their chopsticks for Kung Pao Chicken, but the most googled dish was sweet-and-sour ribs, followed by fish-flavored shredded pork, home-style braised pork and braised eggplant.

And for unexplained reasons, the most googled English word was "wire mesh", followed by "crystal", "china", "mushroom" and "ballast".

Among entertainment stars, Taiwan R&B star Jay Chou was No 1 followed by Chen Chusheng, the champion of the television contest Happy Boy last year.

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