What can Baidu teach us about Chinese perceptions of foreigners?
Wednesday, May 25, 2011 | By: Charlie Custer (葛亚辉)
Google’s autocomplete feature — that thing that pops up and makes suggestions for popular search terms while you’re typing whatever you search for — has got some weird stuff on it. That’s because it’s based on what people actually search for. If you type “Chinese people” in Google, for example, the autocomplete suggestions that pop up are all popular terms others have searched for in the past.
Baidu has this feature too. And while it’s not quite as out there as Google’s, you can still learn something from it about what Chinese people are searching for. So with the disclaimer that this is totally unscientific and you shouldn’t draw any serious conclusions from it, let’s have some fun!
What can Baidu teach us about Chinese perceptions of foreigners? We searched for terms like “Americans”, “Brits”, “French people” and more on Baidu to see what interesting things were suggested. Here’s what we found (if your country isn’t listed here, that’s probably because it didn’t turn up anything too interesting. Sorry!):
- How do Americans view the Korean War?
- American Values
- British people’s eating habits
- What language do Canadians speak?
- Italians speak English
- Why do Indians eat with their hands?
- What race are Indians?
- When Russians sneeze, what do the people around them say?
- Czech people bone church
- Korean people’s ID numbers
- Korean people’s IDs
- The Japanese that Japanese people don’t know
- Japanese people’s average height
- Why did the Germans kill the Jews?
- Germans want Jackie Chan to make a fool of himself
Of course, this is all just in fun, but if I were German I might still be a little upset. And frankly, if I were Korean, I’d be worried that someone was trying to steal my identity.
Seriously, there were a few things that Chinese people wanted to know about almost every country I tried: the population, the GDP, and the per capita GDP. Go figure.