Baidu leads China online map market

Unique visitors to Chinese Internet company's online map service boosted by new services and seasonal events, study shows.

Baidu led the Chinese online map market during the first quarter of 2012 helped by its new services and partnerships.

According to a study by research firm EnfoDesk, which was released on Thursday, Baidu dominated China's online maps space with 61.1 percent, while rivals Google was second with 13.1 percent and Mapbar came in third at 5.4 percent.

The Chinese search giant maintained its lead and continued to grab market attention by adding new services such as hotel search and reservations within its maps, it stated. Events such as partnering Taiwanese illustrator Jimmy Liao and video site, iQiyi.com, to organize a Valentine's Day celebration also helped boost its prominence, the study showed.

By contrast, Google Maps usage stalled since February as its mapping license was being reviewed by the Chinese government then and it was not able to include new information or services within its map during that period, EnfoDesk noted.

It also noted that while the market is stabilizing, second-tier map providers such as Tencent and Sogou are working to gain more market share by pushing new services such as maps with street-level views and location-based services.

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