TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Google yesterday (Dec. 12) released its Year in Search for 2018, including the results for Taiwan, which revealed that the World Cup, Chinese TV dramas, 2018 Taiwanese local elections, referendums, and Kaohsiung Mayor-elect Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) were most on the mind of Taiwanese netizens this year.
The most searched word of the year was "Football World Cup" (世足賽), followed by "Story of Yanxi Palace" (延禧攻略), "earthquake" (地震), "sports lottery" (運彩), "Central Election Commission" (中選會), "Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace" (如懿傳), "referendums" (公投), "Han Kuo-yu" (韓國瑜), "ELTA" (愛爾達), and "vote counting" (開票).
Based on the results of Google's report, many Taiwanese were among the estimated 3.4 billion people on planet earth who were glued to their screens to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which was held in Russia from June 14 to July 16. It appears that many chose to bet on the games, as Taiwan Sports Lottery generated NT$7 billion (US$227 million) in sales from the FIFA World Cup, according to the company.
The ninth place term "ELTA" was likely heavily searched because the website offered free viewing of all 64 matches of the World Cup.
In second and sixth place on the list were the Chinese Qing Dynasty period dramas "Story of Yanxi Palace" and "Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace." Both cover the behind the scenes lives of nobility during the Qinq Dynasty and have started a retro-craze in Taiwan, which was evident during this Halloween when costumes from the two shows prevailed over goblins and ghouls.
Many searches of the "Central Election Commission" and "referendums" are likely related to the hotly debated merits of the numerous referendums proposed and their controversial results. Among the more contentious referendums were those on whether to change the civil code to allow for same-sex marriage, change the name of Taiwan's sports team, and halt the phasing out of nuclear power plants.
Searches for Kuomingtang (KMT) Kaohsiung Mayor-elect Han Kuo-yu are due to his sudden, meteoric rise to popularity after making pie-in-the-sky campaign promises, such as doubling the city's population from 2.7 million to 5 million people and tapping the oil reserves around Taiping Island in the South China Sea. After his win, he pledged allegiance to the mythical "1992 Consensus," prompting many Kaohsiung voters to frantically Google the term.
Lastly, the term "Vote Counting" was mostly likely related to the razor thin margin of victory Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-Je (柯文哲) had over his KMT rival Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) and the subsequent recount, which yielded the same result.
Interestingly, none of the top searches from last year appeared on this year's list, not even the mighty Pokemon, who had dominated Google for the past years.
Top 10 Google Searches in 2018 in Taiwan
- Football World Cup
- Story of Yanxi Palace
- Sports Lottery
- Central Election Commission
- Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace
- Han Kuo-yu
- Vote Counting