Report: Google is North Korea’s No. 1 search engine

Google is said to be North Korea's top search engine. Photo by Shutterstock/George Dolgikh.

April 3 (UPI) — Google is North Korea‘s search engine of choice, among the few online databases available within the tightly controlled regime, Radio Free Asia reported Monday.

The U.S. broadcaster cited Web analytics firm StatCounter, which showed Google recorded a 92.44 percent usage rate in North Korea from March last year to March this year.

Chinese search engine Baidu came second at 2 percent, while Bing and Russia’s Yandex Ru were in the 1 percent range.

The reason behind Google’s popularity in the North is down to its speed and varied results, as well as the reclusive state’s lack of homegrown portals.

However, the report noted that the average North Korean does not have access to international search engines.

Most of Google’s users tend to be regime officials, such as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his family, or those working in inter-Korean affairs and international trade, it said.

A former Computer Science-related professor from North Korea, Kim Heung-kwang, told RFA that there are between 500 and 1,000 agencies in the North that use search engines like Google, but they must gain prior approval on the search words they use.

The North’s intranet system connects all computers within its borders and restricts any comments or personal contents from being shared, Kim said.


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