The top web browsers in China on PC are Chrome with close to half market share by traffic (45.19%), followed by IE 9, IE 11, IE 8, QQ, 2345, Sogou, Firefox, Safari, and other in Q1 2019, according to a Baidu’s study. Some of China’s top browsers are developed based on Google Chromium including QQ Browser.
Statcounter’s data shows the top web browsers in China across all platforms during the period Jun 2018 to Jun 2019 are Chrome, UC Browser, Safari, QQ Browser, etc. Chrome (63%), QQ Browser (8.26%), and IE (7.76%) also lead the browser market on desktop during the same period.
Top Mobile Internet Browser in China
The top 5 mobile web browsers according to Statcounter during the 12 months period ended in Jun 2019 are Chrome (43%), UC Browser (20.5%), Safari (15.6%), QQ Browser (13.56%), and Android (5.7%).
But based on data from QuestMobile’s June data this year, QQ Browser is the top mobile app in web browser category by the total number of monthly active users (303 million), followed by UC Browser (281 million) and 360 Browser (58.8 million), Sogou Browser (40.9 million).
Popular Web Browsers in China
Google’s Chrome browser, also called by some online users as Google Browser, is one of the popular choices among China’s online users.
A main competitor in China’s mobile web browser market.
Sogou Browser. Another popular product of China’s second largest search engine Sogou, who also owns an input software.
Tencent’s QQ Browser also provides both desktop and mobile clients versions for online browsing.
Qihoo 360 secure browser, first released in September 2008, now is the biggest browser in China. According to CNZZ, 360 secure browser occupied 24.21% market share. It has 332 million monthly active users, and penetration rate hit 70%.
More and more people suffer from internet fraud as online shopping is booming in China. For example, criminals might sell a very cheap product online just to obtain user credit card information or simply take away the money with or without sending the real products to consumers. Sometimes, they pretend to be costumer service of a big online store and get your payment information.
360 secure browser claims to be very good at identifying a phishing website and blocking Trojan horses. This function helped 360 secure browser win the majority of China browser market.
In the beginning of 2013, Qihoo 360 launched a service targeting online shoppers. If the online shopper lost money and it’s due to the failure of 360 secure browser to protect shoppers from fraud, Qihoo guarantees compensation of up to 72,000 yuan (USD 11,685 ). Up to now, the total number of illegal websites blocked by 360 secure browser reached 8.8 billion times.
How Qihoo 360 Dominated China Web Browser Market
Qihoo 360 gave away its authority product Qihoo Ani-virus software for free to build up a vast user base and expand into new areas like online gaming, online shopping, directory listings, and the 360 Safe Browser.
Qihoo’s security software reminds users 360 browser is safer than IE every time IE had a security vulnerability. And, the next thing its security software asked its users to do is to set 360 Secure Browser as the default browser.
When a user tried to install another browser, the security suite would try to block; when the user allowed the installation, it would pop up a window asking users not to set it as the default browser.
Its anti-virus software would show a lower security score when 360 Secure Browser is not installed. 360 Secure Browser was later bundled into its security software installation.
Qihoo also made it hardly possible for users to uninstall its browser. When some users managed to uninstall it, they were unable to access the Internet.
In 2011, Qihoo 360 provided one-year free computer repair services via remote control. When Qihoo’s technicians repair, will they also install the 360 secure browser and set the homepage to hao.360.cn, which contributed a lot to its advertising revenue.
Launched in 2011 and once among the top 10 web browsers in China, Baidu announced its plan not to continue the development of its PC web browser in May 2019.
And, it used to offer “fast, stable access” to Google, spotted in 2014. Without using any VPN service, accessing Google search was indeed fast and stable! Gmail got the same improved experience. But the access location was not user’s local one. They would be accessing Google through Baidu (proxy). This means technically you could lose your login and personal information to Baidu.
A lightweight browser of less than 1M in size with an “X” indicating extreme, including features like ad-blocking, security, and media sniffing.
Historical Chinese Browser Data
In August 2014, top 6 Chinese web browsers by total reach were IE, Chrome, Sougou, Cheetah, QQ Browser and 2345. Among them, IE ranked the top with a market share of 47.62% according to data from Baidu.
According to another set of data from CNZZ, owned by Alibaba Group, IE, Qihoo 360 browser and Chrome are the top three internet browsers in China by total reach in August 2014. IE had a slight decrease of 1.21% and Chrome 1.01% from prior month.
Top Mobile Browser in China
China’s top three mobile web browsers by total reach in August 2014 were Android mobile browser, UC browser and QQ mobile browser. Android was in leading place and UC browser had an decrease of 0.8% from prior month. While On the iOS and Android platforms, UC browser’s monthly user’s coverage accounted for 65.9% of the total, ranking the top in the mobile browser market.
Also read: China to Overtake USA as No.1 4G Market