Eli Schwartz

China SEO and SEM Guide – 📌Eli Schwartz

Currently the world’s 2 largest economy behind the US but likely to become the world’s largest economy within the current decade. As the result of censorship and many unfamiliar rules, China is the most challenging country for a Western country to enter. China has a strict central government and a local partner’s requirement to participate in any foreign business. China is famous for censoring the kind of content that is available online, and as a result there are homegrown variations of popular Western products like Weibo instead of Twitter, Youku instead of YouTube and WeChat instead of Whatsapp.  Surprisingly, English is not widely understood even in the cities and any local marketing will need to be localized in Chinese. (In my experience, even Beijing police officers and hotel staff could not communicate in English.)

  • Population size: 1.4 Billon
  • Internet penetration 49.5%
  • Most popular search engines: Baidu, SoGou
  • Currency. RMB
  • Language: Mandarin
  • Time zones: GMT +8
  • Major cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou,
  • Most popular Internet TLD .CN


What you need to know to run successful campaigns: Unless your servers are hosted in China it is unlikely that you will be able to rank organically or be able to do effectively run paid search in China. Additionally, there is an inordinate amount of bureaucracy in opening a Baidu account, you might be better off working with a registered Baidu agency to run paid marketing campaigns. For SEO, Baidu has its own version of webmaster tools, but it’s only in Chinese. If you are serious about getting ranked in Baidu it would be a good idea to set up a webmaster tools account with Baidu.