Photographer: Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images

Google's Top Search Terms of 2015 Reveal Asia's Differing Web Tastes

Google, the world's largest search engine, released its annual lists of the most-searched terms on a country-by country basis this week.

While the differences between the Asian regions' search habits can be explained in part by web restrictions and varying degrees of press freedom, the lists do give a snapshot of the collective mindset of Asia's populations. A China list is conspicuous by its absence as the search giant is blocked in the land of the Great Firewall.

Apple-mania pushed the iPhone 6s to the top of the search list in smartphone-obsessed Hong Kong, with the rest of the search list focusing on popular television personalities and shows such as The Greed of Man, first shown in 1992 and re-aired this year.

Singaporeans had more weighty concerns. Haze from Indonesia's fires and the death of Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew took the top spots in a list dominated by news events.

Sentimental Vietnamese propelled the titles of three love songs to the top of their list, while nine of the top search terms in neighboring Thailand related to music videos or TV shows.

In Japan Islamic State was the top search term, as two Japanese hostages were killed and the minister for public safety warned the country was at threat of cyber attack, while Koreans hunted for information on MERS after the country recorded its first cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

Globally, Asian nations did not feature in the top 10 list, which was dominated by U.S. Sports stars, movies and actors.

 

Hong Kong

  1. iPhone 6s
  2. How-Old.net - a Microsoft tool to guess your age from a photo
  3. Helen To Yu-ung - a travel writer and TV host being criticised for being too materialistic
  4. Wu Zetian - star of Chinese TV drama The Empress of China
  5. Our Times - a Taiwanese movie
  6. HKTV - television network run by Ricky Wong Wai-Kay, whose application for a free-to-air license was rejected
  7. The Greed of Man - Popular drama series from 1992, re-aired this year
  8. Captain of Destiny - sci-fi TV drama criticized for poor special effects
  9. Rashomon - Cantopop by Hong Kong singers Kay Tse and Juno Mak
  10. Minions - the movie

 

Indonesia

An Indonesian man displays his collection of rings with various gemstones in Jakarta on Aug. 6, 2015. The recent fad of collecting rings with precious gemstone or polished gemstone locally called "batu akik" is sweeping across Indonesia, with collectors going for the very rare stones and it's possession many believe will give the owner supernatural powers.
An Indonesian man displays his collection of rings with various gemstones in Jakarta on Aug. 6, 2015. The recent fad of collecting rings with precious gemstone or polished gemstone locally called "batu akik" is sweeping across Indonesia, with collectors going for the very rare stones and it's possession many believe will give the owner supernatural powers.
Photographer: Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty Images
  1. Batu Akik - the rising price of semi-precious gemstones which has sparked a modern-day goldrush
  2.  GO-JEK - new startup that provides on-demand scooters
  3.  Kue Cubit - a fashionable cake
  4. Angeline - missing child who was found murdered
  5. Olga Syahputra - cross-dressing TV comedian
  6. Dubsmash - an app to create selfie videos with sounds overdubbed
  7.  Fast Furious 7 - the movie
  8. Tragedi Mina - fatal stampede during the Hajj
  9. Goyang Dumang - a dance by singer Cita Citata
  10. Piala Presiden - the President's Cup soccer tournament

 

Malaysia

  1. HRMIS 2 - version two of Malaysia's Human Resource Management Information System
  2. BR1M 2015 - cash handout from the government for those in need
  3. How-Old.net
  4. Maharaja Lawak Mega - a contest between comedians
  5. Fast Furious 7
  6. Hati Perempuan - TV drama
  7. 1 USD to MYR - following the slide of the ringgit
  8. Whatsapp Web - the chat app on a desktop
  9. GST - Malaysia introduced a sales and service tax
  10. Bersih 4.0 - protest movement

 

Singapore

Military personnel carry the coffin bearing the body of Singapore's first elected prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, draped in the Singapore national flag, following his funeral service. Lee Kuan Yew was remembered as the founder of modern Singapore at a state funeral after a procession through the city's streets that drew thousands of mourners despite heavy rain.
Military personnel carry the coffin bearing the body of Singapore's first elected prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, draped in the Singapore national flag, following his funeral service. Lee Kuan Yew was remembered as the founder of modern Singapore at a state funeral after a procession through the city's streets that drew thousands of mourners despite heavy rain.
Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg
  1. PSI Singapore - air quality following haze
  2. Lee Kuan Yew - death of Singapore's first prime minister
  3. SEA Games - Singapore hosted this regional athletics event
  4. WhatsApp Web
  5. iPhone 6s
  6. Amos Yee - prosecuted blogger
  7. MERS - the spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome
  8. QZ8501 - crashed AirAsia flight
  9. Lee Wei Ling - Lee Kuan Yew's daughter
  10. Lee Hsien Loong - Lee Kuan Yew's son and Prime Minister of Singapore

 

Vietnam

  1. Vợ Người Ta - a song about a young man crying over his ex-girlfriend's wedding
  2. Âm Thầm Bên Em - a love song about a gangster who tries to change his ways to regain the love of his girlfriend
  3. Không Phải Dạng Vừa Đâu - a song by popular singer Son Tung MTP about expressing his feelings
  4. How-Old.net
  5. Fast Furious 7
  6. Khuôn Mặt Đáng Thương - a song about a young man expressing sorrow over his ex-girlfriend's love life
  7. Em Của Quá Khứ - ballad about a man waiting for the return of his high school sweetheart
  8. Cười Xuyên Việt - television show searching for new comedians
  9. Cô Dâu 8 Tuổi - an Indian TV series about a girl forced to get married at the age of eight
  10. Chàng Trai Năm Ấy - a romantic comedy based on the autobiography of late singer Wanbi Tuan Anh

 

Japan

Japanese rugby players celebrate following their upset victory over powerhouse South Africa during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool B match in Brighton, United Kingdom on Sept. 19, 2015.
Japanese rugby players celebrate following their upset victory over powerhouse South Africa during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool B match in Brighton, United Kingdom on Sept. 19, 2015.
Photographer: Julian Finney/Getty Images
  1. イスラム 国 - Islamic State
  2. 台風 - typhoon
  3. ラグビー - rugby, following Japan's victory over New Zealand
  4. マイナンバー - my number, used for social security and tax purposes
  5. 後藤健二 - Kenji Goto, the Japanese journalist killed by Islamic State
  6. 川島なお美 - Naomi Kawashima - TV performer who died of cancer
  7. 北斗晶 - Akira Hokuto - female wrestler who went public with breast cancer diagnosis
  8. スプラトゥーン - Splatoon, a Nintendo game
  9. Windows 10
  10. iPhone 6s

 

Philippines

  1. AIDub - nickname for massively successful skit on afternoon television about lovers who have not met
  2. Pope Francis
  3. Maine Mendoza - female star of Eat Bulaga! TV show
  4. FIBA Asia 2015
  5. Dubsmash - lip-syncing app
  6. Alden Richards - male star of Eat Bulaga!
  7. Fifty Shades of Grey
  8. APEC Summit
  9. Paris attacks
  10. COMELEC - electoral committee of the Philippines

 

Korea

A medical staff employee wearing a mask exits a closed hospital emergency room and restricted area at the Samsung Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea, on Sunday, June 14, 2015. South Korea reported several cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome as the country is shaken by fears of contagion.
A medical staff employee wearing a mask exits a closed hospital emergency room and restricted area at the Samsung Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea, on Sunday, June 14, 2015. South Korea reported several cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome as the country is shaken by fears of contagion.
Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg
  1. 메르스 - MERS, after it was reported Korea had its first case
  2. 나무 위키 - NamuWiki, a Korean Wikipedia
  3. 워터파크 몰카 - a hidden camera in a water park arrests
  4. 킹스맨 - the movie Kingsman
  5. 베테랑 - the movie Veteran
  6. 이태임 - Lee Tae-im, South Korean actress
  7. 암살 - Assassination, a TV drama
  8. 간신 - The Treacherous, TV drama
  9. 장성우 - Jang Sung-Woo, baseball player 
  10. 스물 - the movie Twenty

 

Thailand

  1. เชือกวิเศษ - Magic Rope, a music video by Labanoon
  2. รักนะเป็ดโง่ - Ugly Duckling, a popular TV series
  3. เพื่อนเฮี้ยนโรงเรียนหลอน - Thirteen Terrors, drama about the adventures of high school students
  4. ทิ้งไว้กลางทาง - Leave Me Along The Way, a music video by Potato
  5. สุดแค้นแสนรัก - Extreme Love, a soap opera
  6. สงครามนางงาม - Beauty Queens' War, reality TV show
  7. เพลงขัดใจ - Offend, a music video from COLOURPiTCH
  8. ข้าบดินทร์ - Kha Badin - prime time soap opera
  9. แอบรักออนไลน์ - Secret Love Online - TV soap
  10. ตัดพ้อ - Complain, music video

 

Taiwan

A basket stadium is flooded by the Jingmei river as typhoon Soudelor hits Taipei on August 8, 2015. Typhoon Soudelor battered Taiwan with fierce winds and rain leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
A basket stadium is flooded by the Jingmei river as typhoon Soudelor hits Taipei on August 8, 2015. Typhoon Soudelor battered Taiwan with fierce winds and rain leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
Photographer: Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images
  1. 颱風 - typhoon
  2. 我的少女時代 - movie from China
  3. 威力彩 - lottery
  4. 世界12強棒球錦標賽 - World Baseball Championship
  5. 寬宏售票 - a ticketing platform
  6. 武媚娘傳奇 - movie telling the tale of a classic Chinese legend
  7. How-Old.net
  8. 玩命關頭7 - Fast and Furious 7
  9. 江蕙 - Jody Chiang, Taiwanese pop singer, who announced her retirement this year
  10. iPhone 6s

 

Top Global

  1. Lamar Odom 
  2. Jurassic World
  3. American Sniper
  4. Caitlyn Jenner
  5. Ronda Rousey
  6. Paris
  7. Agar.io
  8. Chris Kyle
  9. Fallout 4
  10. Straight Outta Compton

 

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