"Stock" beats "sex" on Google China

BEIJING Thu Jan 3, 2008 8:34am EST

A Chinese Internet user browses for information on the popular search engine Google in Beijing January 25, 2006. The names of three banks and the word ''stocks'' beat ''sex'' to become four of the most Googled words in China last year, according to a Google China list seen on Thursday. REUTERS/Stringer

A Chinese Internet user browses for information on the popular search engine Google in Beijing January 25, 2006. The names of three banks and the word ''stocks'' beat ''sex'' to become four of the most Googled words in China last year, according to a Google China list seen on Thursday.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

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BEIJING (Reuters) - The names of three banks and the word "stocks" beat "sex" to become four of the most Googled words in China last year, according to a Google China list seen on Thursday.

China Merchants Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank ranked second, third and sixth, according to a list supplied by Google China on its website (www.google.cn).

"On the Chinese mainland, it was money and technology that took the honors last year," the China Daily said, pointing out that "sex" was the most popular keyword for Google users in some other countries.

Fourth on the list was "stock", not surprising with Shanghai shares having risen 97 percent last year. At number 1 was "QQ", a Chinese instant message service and a brand of car.

China's Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance and Banking Regulatory Commission ranked first, third and fifth in the "Most Popular Departments" list, the Web site said.

In another list named "qiu zhi", or "seeking knowledge", "what is a blue chip" and "how to invest in the stock market" were the most searched questions on Google in China, while "what is love" and "how to kiss" ranked top of the global list.

China keeps a tight rein on Internet content and has launched several campaigns to root out online pornography, perhaps one reason why "sex" did not score so well.

(Reporting by Beijing newsroom, editing by Nick Macfie and Roger Crabb)

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