Firefox takes on IE in China

Posted on Saturday, Jan 19 2008 @ 21:26 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
BusinessWeek reports Mozilla is slowly taking on Microsoft in China:
One item at the top of the agenda to popularize Mozilla: Come up with a Chinese name. Because "Mozilla" is a made-up word that cannot be translated into Chinese, the Mozilla team named the Beijing subsidiary "mou zhi," meaning "seeking wisdom" in Mandarin. "Through promotion of Firefox, we want to promote a vision that the Internet should be open, people should have choice, people should be able to personalize their experience, not [let it be] dictated by one company," says Gong, who served as co-chair of Mozilla's foundation in China while he ran Sun's China operations in 2005.

Firefox still has a long way to go. With more than 160 million Internet users, China is the world's second-largest Net market and is likely to overtake the U.S. as No. 1 by the end of the decade. More than four-fifths of China's Internet users use IE to go online, mostly because it's bundled with the Windows operating system. Homegrown companies Maxthon—a private company based in Hong Kong—and Tencent —the Shenzhen-based operator of China's most popular instant messaging service—both have browsers based on IE kernels that are the second and third most commonly used in China.

Mozilla estimates there are 3.5 million regular Firefox users in China, giving it just 2% of the market. (According to June, 2007, figures by Onestat, Mozilla has a 19.65% market share in the U.S.) Mozilla has set a goal of grabbing a 5% market share in China "as quickly as possible," says Gong.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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