Emerging Tech

There's less searching for sex on Google China

I find it very interesting (and quite hard to believe) that the word "stock" was searched more often on Google China in 2007 than the word "sex." However, according to a Reuters' story, this is exactly what happened.

Each week, I check a report that shows me how many people are viewing my blog posts. Almost every week, the most popular post is one that I wrote back in 2005 with the title, "My ex put naked photos of me on the Web." Seriously? That means that people are looking for "naked photos" via search engines, and they happened to run across my entry. I'm sure that these people are disappointed when they click through and don't actually see skin pics.

With this in mind, I find it very interesting (and quite hard to believe) that the word "stock" was searched more often on Google China in 2007 than the word "sex."  However, according to a Reuters' story, this is exactly what happened.

Here's a snippet from the article on Reuters:

The names of three banks [China Merchants Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank ranked second, third and sixth] and the word "stocks" beat "sex" to become four of the most Googled words in China last year, according to a Google China list.

At number 1 was "QQ", a Chinese instant message service and a brand of car.

The China Daily acknowledges that the word "sex" is the most frequently searched word on Google in other countries. That would help explain the popularity of my aforementioned "naked photos" post. So, why isn't China as sex-crazed as the rest of the world?

China keeps a tight rein on Internet content and has launched several campaigns to root out online pornography, perhaps one reason why "sex" did not score so well.

Okay, so maybe China isn't as innocent as these Google results would leave one to believe. Maybe if we crack down on online pornography in the United States, our (trackable) obsession with sex will decrease as well. Thoughts?

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

6 comments
warren.hamilton
warren.hamilton

Given that the statistics are supplied by Google, which in turn is bending over backwards to assist in the repression of free speech in China, I would treat any info coming from Google or the Chinese government with a mountain of salt. Anyway, what Chinese term are they talking about when they use the English term "sex"?

Drumming Man
Drumming Man

The findings pique my curiosity...it would be interesting to study to find out why. I'm thinking is probably at play, but I think simpler things like opportunity and demographics might be involved. My guess is that those searching for "sex" are younger and tend to be male--maybe these groups don't have as much internet access, hence less opportunity. Or maybe there is less "supply".

ManiacMan
ManiacMan

and actually have more useful things to kill their time on when surfing the web. :^0

JCitizen
JCitizen

I'm not for any content control on the net; botnet, spam, maleware yes but I'll keep the freedom of speech thankyou very much! Americans may consider porn as novelty; especially as more people join the web every day. Sex isn't exactly a fad, so to say the public would show a loss of interest any time soon would be presumptuous to say the least.

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

I'd say they spend more time doing it than watching it :)

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