Monday, April 7, 2008

Taiwan is (still) Yahoo country

PC World writes that Yahoo has been 'dethroned' in Taiwan as top portal. Well... sort of...

Taiwan has been one of Yahoo's gems for at least seven years. The reasons are that Yahoo initially combined with local portal Kimo here and quickly built up its Chinese services. Google on the other hand has been slow to do this but may be catching up.

This makes me think of Facebook as well as, although popular for expats living here, it is out of touch with locals need to have a Chinese version (BTW, Facebook noticed that I had Mandarin written in my profile and sent me a message to help translate their features so I assume that a Chinese version is in the works).

Yahoo's portal provides Taiwanese with such popular things as (duh!) searching but also translation and dictionary tools, shopping and the auction sections (which beat Ebay in Taiwan as well). I guess it pays to be first in line with Chinese services since locals are not too keen on learning the English interfaces, which became all too apparent when I tried to introduce my brother-in-law to Google's wide array of services in Beta that have not been translated to Chinese. He scratched his head and proclaimed it too hard to understand (although he'll gladly buy and read a Chinese magazine that will walk him through his Japanese language menus and dialog in his PS2 and Wii games!!!)

I guess people get turned off the English instructions and menus in much the same way as Americans dislike foreign language films with subtitles unless it is unavoidable or there is some kind of overriding incentive to it all (read 'be the first to know and use the knowledge').

According to the article, Yahoo has been unseated by Wretch. Not much of a victory though since Yahoo had the foresight to purchase Wretch last year. What's interesting is that it is still at a .cc address which I have written about here:

internet domains

"In video posting sites, Taiwan's I'm TV beat out YouTube for the top spot in Taiwan."
Maybe I shouldn't be suprised. Once again, it needs to be translated into Chinese in order to get locals' attention in a big way.

Talking purely about search engines, the article had this to say:
"The U.S. version of Google ranked first among search engines, and 14th overall, while Google Taiwan came in second."

Look out Yahoo. Guess who's aiming for #1.

pc world article
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