Baidu Beat

The 2010 Baidu annual search countdown (Baidu Internet Hotspot “百度网络沸点”) held last Friday revealed some very interesting search patterns from the past year. One of the most fascinating search list categories published Friday has to be the Most Popular “What should I to do…” search phrase list, ranked according to data gathered from the widely-used Baidu Knows Q&A service (百度知道).

Baidu Knows is a search-based service that lets users ask specific personal questions, and encourages other Internet users to help resolve these questions through a points reward system. Millions of Internet users have been benefiting from the wealth of the knowledge accessible through Baidu Knows, and it seems that a large proportion of the 2010 beneficiaries have been people plagued with anxiety about the hopelessness of their financial situations or love lives.

According to our data, the most popular search phrase on Baidu Knows of last year was, “What should I do if my girlfriend refuses to marry me because I don’t have an apartment under my name?” This phrase is closely followed by “What should I do if my husband is cheating on me?”, and “What should I do if I am secretly in love with a married man?” at number 3.

So what do these phrases reveal about the Chinese society today? It’s become quite clear that young single men without property deeds are facing an uphill struggle in the mating game. And by the looks of the 2nd and 3rd most popular search phrases, I think it’s a fairly safe to say that married men (presumably with one or more properties already secured under their names) are getting a little more than their fair share. Nothing new there, alas.

Read through the top ten list and you get a fairly good idea of what’s on the minds of the young Chinese these days.

  • 1. What should I do if my girlfriend refuses to marry me because I don’t have an apartment under my name?
  • 2. What should I do if my husband is cheating on me?
  • 3. What should I do if I am secretly in love with a married man?
  • 4. What should I do if delivery companies stop making express deliveries during Chinese New Year while the package is still on its way?
  • 5. What should I do if I’m bored and spending Chinese New Year alone?
  • 6. What should I do with my pet dog when I go back to my native city for Chinese New Year?
  • 7. What should I do if my mom wants another child?
  • 8. What should I do if I’ve fallen in love while I’m still too young?
  • 9. What should I do if my roommate and I are in the middle of a cold war?
  • 10. What should I do if I still have the headstrong temper of a child at 22 years of age?

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