Baidu, China’s leading search engine, has published the hottest searched keywords in 2011 – my comments:
1. Tiangong-1 – China’s space technology slowly filling the void left by the US
2. Jobs – not employment although that may be the case in the future if the government does not manage to re-balance the economy
3. Gadhafi – another testimony that Chinese netizens are global citizens too
4. Earthquakes – a sober reminder that the ground shakes frequently in China and causes massive damages. Still a mystery since one tends to be concerned by the future ones and not the past ones.
5. Food safety – this is not about fake organic pork but rather life-threatening products which make it through the controls of China’s State Food and Drug administration
6. Personal Income Tax Threshold – The People’s Congress announces that tax exemption was raised from USD 314 to USD 550. Do the netizens trust Baidu more than the People’s Daily?
7. Housing prices – High time to have a structured product to hedge against real estate bubbles in China. But of course, this requires someone to be bullish on real estate in China.
8. 90th anniversary of CCP founding – The party is reaching a respectable age but doesn’t seem intent on retiring yet.
9. Laden – Gadhafi, Laden. The one missing is Kim Jong-Il…
10. European debt crisis – I wonder if the Chinese are more concerned about than the European themselves!
As a “comparison” in Europe the fastest rising words on Google in 2011 are: Rebecca Black, Google Plus, Ryan Dunn, Casey Anthony, Battlefield 3, iPhone 5, Adele, Tepco, Steve Jobs and Ipad2.