One of the main reasons Baidu is winning search share in China over Google, Yahoo, and MSN is that users complain that the foreign search engines are too slow. Of course, it's well-known that download times is a key factor in usability and that users prefer fast sites. What's less well-known is that the reason for the slow performance of the GYM sites is that the Chinese government has artificially reduced the speed of accessing sites outside China.
China should be reported to the WTO for restraint of trade for delaying foreign websites' download times.
I strongly doubt that the State Department has anybody at the policy level who understands usability, so most likely nothing will happen.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Subtle restraint of trade
Jakob Nielsen made this comment in the email message accompanying his Alertbox for September 25.