Why is the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang ‘so chaotic?’ Why are Sichuanese people ‘so short but have such great skin?’ And are the women really that beautiful in the Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang regions or do their men they just like to start fights? These and many other queries add up to the daily 5 billion that are typed into Baidu – China’s largest search engine.
If you were to put all the queries down on a map, as Foreign Policy did here, you would see that just like in any other country, people there have a certain opinion of each other. And they are not afraid to ask for more [information].
Search engines across the globe have established themselves as the way for getting tips and quick answers, so no wonder the Chinese are busy typing away everything they wish to know about themselves and their regional neighbors.
Baidu, which means ‘hundreds of times’, was inspired by an 800-year old Song Dynasty poem about the persistent search for an ideal beauty in the midst of chaos. So maybe that’s just it; those Chinese are looking for reliable information in the midst of chaotic Chinese Internet.