Russia's Yandex launches a Google Chrome browser of its own

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Yandex is one of few national non-English language search engines that have managed to outrun the likes of Google, Microsoft and Yahoo in their countries, in this case Russia.

Yandex was first to market in Russia – it made its debut in 1997 – and has since established itself as the undisputed leader in search with an estimated domestic market share of 58% according to At number two we find Google, which trails far behind at 23% despite a recent search partnership with, the third horse in this race.

But rather than building a browser of its own, Yandex has apparently opted to develop a custom iteration of Google’s Chrome browser based on the Chromium open source project. We were tipped about the branded browser, which integrates Yandex services, this morning but we’re not sure when it was launched exactly. But given that it’s hosted on a subdomain, it’s definitely the real thing.

The browser comes equipped with Yandex as its default search engine, has the popular Yandex Web portal set as its homepage and also features a number of bookmarks upon installation that lead to Yandex’s webmail, online maps, shopping and other services.

(Thanks to Sergey Kapustin for the tip)

  • IKnow

    Chromium is one of the products using Yandex search and services, not the unique one and not the first one.
    Other examples are: Firefox with Yandex services (, Internet Explorer with Yandex services ( and co-branded ICQ with Yandex services (

  • Engage Brands

    It will take a lot for Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to outstrip Yandex in Russia.

  • Dan

    They called it ‘Chrome’. Surely they can’t do that?

  • Abdelrahman Mahmoud

    That’s pointless and they can’t call it Chrome, can they?

    • tatsuke

      Maybe I’m dense, but why is this pointless? Seems to me that it does what a search engine wants: 1) users use your engine by default, thanks to the integration 2) collects data.

      As far as whether or not they can call it Chrome, well, it’s Russia. Good luck stopping them.

      • Ruslan Fazlyev

        Russian law recognizes international trademarks under Madrid System treaty. Moreover, Google has Russian office so there should be no problem for Google to stop trademark breach if there is any.

        Yandex had a custom version of FireFox for quite a while, so this seems to be just their reaction on Chrome gaining popularity.

        Both FireFox and Chrome are not marketed as Yandex products, they are marketed as “FireFox with Yandex flavour” and “Chrome with Yandex flavour”.

        So this thing is basically more like a set of custom themes /Yandex add-ons for popular browsers.

        Personally, I just use “clear” Chrome/Firefox.

    • Igor

      Google representative has told Russian business daily “Vedomosti” that they haven’t registred “Chrome” trademark in Russia. At least without “Google”. And btw Chrome is written in Russian in this Yandex version so it seems that Google simply hasn’t been smart enough to protect their trademark legally.
      Here’s the prooflink, but only in Russian

    • venicum

      Yandex called browser “Хром” (it’s pronounced like “Chrome” in Russia) and Google hasn’t any rights for this word in Russia.

  • realtime rss feeds

    well, I’m not sure they really can call it chrome, and anyway, they surely just do free advertising for google chrome, and they won’t be able to keep the pace with google chrome, so ultimately peoples using “their” broser will end up using google chrome in the future.

    • Alex

      Well, as long as they have them using Yanex searchengine and portal, they probably wouldn’t care less what browser the users are doing it with.

  • Observer

    They don’t call it “Chrome”, instead they use Russian letters “Хром”, which sounds exactly like “Chrome”.


    Yandex.Chrome with their search engine –

  • Dmitry

    Yandex is not 58% of Russian traffic anymore
    The Yandex’s share of Russian search traffic substantially increased in the last 10 months
    and it is around 63% now;date=2010-04-01;period=month

  • Dmitry

    your link to LiveInternet is outdated
    it is data for November 2009
    to get current data, please use;date=2010-04-01;period=month

  • Yevgeny

    I don’t think it’s a different browser. It’s just the Chrome prefilled with Yandex stuff like FF and IE with preinstalled toolbars. So From this point why not to call it the original name.

  • guy

    it looks like a google chrome branded browser to me. can’t somebody from Yandex comment on this. I am sure they are reading this. If its the chrome browser good choice congrats :-). It’s my favorite browser by far.

    • fred perry outlet

      Many thanks for posting this information, I do not know about anybody else, but I can totally make use of it.

  • links for 2010-03-27 « 個人的な雑記

    […] Russia’s Yandex launches a Google Chrome browser of its own (tags: chrome search russian) […]

  • Quickthink » Blog Archive » Local Trumps Generic???

    […] Sometimes they already do. In Russia, for example, Yandex has beaten Google in the search market. Here is a link to a Tech Crunch article on its success. Just one example, but interesting, I would say again […]

  • jamal

    It’s “Ya Index” wich I think it means “I’m indexind”

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    […] Google has disabled the initial search engine selection menu in the Russian version of Chrome. (Yandex is one of the few search engines to earn a higher market share than Google.) This wouldn’t fly in the US, but Yandex did it first. […]

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