Interesting FT piece on how Google’s global ambitions are thwarted by several key markets where they have not managed to take market leadership positions.
For instance, in Czech Republic Seznam has 62.5% share to Google’s 24.8%
Russia, Yandex has 45.9% to Google 33%
China, Baidu.com has 66.5% to Google 11.3%
South Korea, Naver 57.7%, Lycos 18.4%, Google 8.5%
Japan Yahoo 51%, Google 39.5%
As with all markets… there’s opportunity. And, there will be a niching process that evolves so that even these shares get eroded as people switch to niche search firms or bespoke search tools.
It looks like philanthropy to invest millions in Africa. But, it could also be one of those amazingly far-sighted early-stage investments.
A bunch of entrepreneurs is backing O3b networks to put up 16 satellites to provide a wireless backbone for Africa. That’s Google, John Malone of Liberty Global, HSBC, Allen & Company… on the road to $750m in spend.
This could be a path for linking up with consumers in a host of other emerging markets. Hence the name of the firm… which stands for ‘Other 3 billion’… the half of the world that’s not currently within reach of Wikipedia and Facebook…
And, for more links to Google’s multifarious ambitions, check out this blog from Unstung.