2017 is coming to an end and it’s time to review the year. On December 18, the world’s largest Chinese search engine Baidu released a list of the Top Trending Searches of 2017, which is the best way to understand Chinese netizens’ “collective memory” and “online life” during 2017.
This year’s Baidu List of Top Trending Searches includes three major lists: Annual Trending Search, Annual Culture and Entertainment Search and Annual Phenomenon Search, under which there are 18 sub-lists of domestic affairs, international affairs, technology, entertainment and people, covering 180 heated topics. Top searches in each sub-list were: the opening of the Belt and Road forum, Macron elected French President, freestyle, AlphaGo vs Ke Jie, Luhan, Zhou Youguang, Wolf Warriors Ⅱ, In the Name of People, Luhan is dating Guan Xiaotong, Feng Timo, Arena of Valor, RYB Education, iPhone X Publication, Xihan Expressway serious car accident, Chinese passenger C919 jet, bald post-90s and funny emojis. Starting from today, all information in the lists is available to users by searching for the term “Baidu Top Trending Searches of 2017.”
Looking at this year’s topic distribution, the most heated topics can be categorized into four types – Chinese pride, artificial intelligence, collective anxiety and innovative social networking. Among them, “Chinese pride” is reflected in attention to the domestic passenger C919 jet and other “Pillars of China”, as well as in support of “China’s innovative power” such as the launch of the first Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) Train. In terms of “artificial intelligence”, people focused on AlphaGo vs. Ke Jie, the first Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit Train hit the road and autonomous cars on the Fifth Ring Road in Beijing and their impact on people’s lives; the search terms of bald post-90s, Thermos bottle group and greasy middle-age people reflect “collective anxiety”; while funny emojis, Feng Timo and freestyle show “innovative social networking” trends on the Internet.
The Baidu Top Trending Search List covers various aspects of Chinese society from the basics of daily life to national and international politics, and to entertainment, culture, economics and technology. This list requires no expert nor committee, nor does it include any online voting, but relies only on netizen searches during the year. Baidu has a reach of more than 95 percent among Chinese netizens, with an average of more than 1 billion daily search requests. Each search indicated the attention of one netizen, and their aggregate showed the focus of the country. Through the record and analysis of big data, Baidu can map out the focus of Chinese society and offer a panorama of Chinese netizens’ online lives with true and unbiased data.