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Why don’t you Baidu it?

China's top search engine gives us a glimpse of Google's limitations and of the future of the internet

By Tom Chatfield   July 2009

How many internets are there? Pampered by Google, most of us have got used to thinking of the online world as one seamlessly interconnected whole: 30bn pages all instantly accessible via the right search term and the click of a mouse. Yet with the number of people online (1.6bn) likely to double by 2020, we need to start thinking about internets rather than the internet: about a world in which regional idiosyncrasies are as important as global trends and where no single website, no matter how good, can be the key that unlocks every door. And, as with so many…

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