Baidu advantage after Google Drive blocked in China
We’ve been bringing readers plenty of information about Google Drive, the brand-new cloud storage service from the search engine giant. We’ve been pretty impressed with what we’ve seen so far but we now hear that Google Drive has already been blocked in China, giving Baidu and other Chinese companies the advantage.
It seems a shame to us that just as millions of people are finding out how to get started with Google Drive there’s a huge market unable to use this new Google initiative. We probably shouldn’t be surprised though as a similar fate has struck other Western Internet services such as Dropbox. This latest news has extended Google’s previous problems with authorities in China and the country’s own giant search engine Baidu will be likely to gain the most benefit.
Only yesterday we told of plans for a new Baidu Android-based smartphone, expanding its already huge presence in China and now this is further good news for Baidu. As the Chinese tech market is surging cloud storage is likely to become more in demand and Baidu already started its own beta cloud service in March, Wangpan. Whereas Google Drive is offering up to 5GB of storage free for each user and then options to purchase more, Wangpan offers 25GB and further upcoming initiatives will enable users to extend that amount for free, according to The Next Web.
On the face of it then you might imagine that Baidu would win out, even without Google Drive being blocked. However at launch Wangpan restricted the amount of users on a first-come, first-served basis so maybe the company was more able to offer the increased amount of storage. With China now tallying more than 500 million Internet users, a vast market is there for the taking but previously social media use in the country has been dominated by its own firms such as Sina and Tencent, with overseas companies being blocked.
It seems then that other Internet services such as cloud storage will also develop along the same lines with no option for those in China to join in with services such as Google Drive. Only real Google enthusiasts will be able to get round the restrictions in China by using VPNs to access Google Drive. Another country where Google Drive may come up against opposition is Russia, which hasn’t blocked it yet. However Google Drive in Russia will come up against the mighty presence of Yandex, popular with Russian users and which also recently launched its own cloud service.
So far Google has not commented on the block in China of Google Drive. What are your thoughts on China continuing to block Western Internet services such as Google Drive? We’re interested to hear from you so send your comments to let us know.