World empires of the Internet

Double click to enlarge

Double click to enlarge

Source: Information Geographies

Internet companies are an extension of their nations’ soft power.  This map, based on data compiled in 2013, shows the number of Internet users and the most-visited web site in each country.

What stands out for me is the global reach of U.S.-based Internet companies whose dominance, however, ends at the borders of China and Russia.

Google has been squeezed out of China.  It still has a reported 30 percent market share in Russia, based partly on the popularity of its Android hand-held device, but faces anti-trust charges in that country.

I don’t think Russia, any more than China, is willing to tolerate a strong foreign Internet presence.

Another thing that stands out is the huge Internet penetration in the Southeast Asian nations of Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, compared not only to Burma, Laos and Cambodia, which barely register as dot on the map, but also compared to Australia and New Zealand.

Google is the top web site in most of North America, Brazil, Europe, India, Southeast Asia and Australia-New Zealand.  These countries have more than 1 billion Internet users, which is more than half the world’s Internet population.

Another U.S.-based web company, Facebook, is the most-visited web site in much of Spanish America, the Middle East (along with Google) and North Africa, with an estimated 280 million Internet users.

 Yahoo is the dominant Internet company in Japan and on Taiwan, based on recent acquisitions of local companies.

Baidu is the top web site in China, with an estimated 500 million total Internet users, and also supposedly in Korea.

The search engine Yandex dominates Russia, the e-mail service dominates Kazakhstan, the social network VK dominates Belarus and the on-line newspaper Al-Watan Voice is favored in the Palestinian territories.


Age of Internet Empires by Information Geographies.

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