TripAdvisor hoping for detente over Google-China Cold War

china hotel doorUser review giant TripAdvisor will have a few worries on its mind if Google follows through on its threat to pull out of China following a row over cyber attacks on government protestors.

Tnooz has learned the TripAdvisor-DaoDao business in China currently gets around a third of all its search engine traffic just from Google.

Google has threatened to reverse its previous decision to block sites and information banned by the Chinese government, a move which effectively could lead Google.cn being blocked at the touch of a button.

TripAdvisor general manager in China, Hao Wu, says the company is watching developments closely but has no sense at this stage which way the row is likely to go.

The Expedia-owned business was always going to be one of the big travel sites under threat as it relies to heavily on and performs well in natural search through Google.

Wu says:

“If Google is able to redirect Google.cn users and advertisers to Google.com and Google.com’s access is not noticeably impacted, then the immediate impact to our biz would be minimal.

“In the long term, if Google completely retreats from China, then it’d be worrisome for us in China since our SEM cost will likely go up as Baidu dominates the market.”

Another “key component”, Wu explains, is TripAdvisor’s use of Google Maps across much of the hotel pages on the site .

TripAdvisor officially launched DaoDao (Chinese variation of the brand) in April 2009 following a six-month beta test in the country.

The division has grown far quicker than other TripAdvisor country brands  around the world (around 50 employees) due to the complex nature of the business and protocols.

Wu says there are a number of options in the long term, including using over search players such Sohu and Ten Cent QQ, but both sites are too small to challenge Baidu, the country’s biggest search engine.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.

 

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