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Yahoo Year in Review 2023: Singapore’s top online searches unveiled

SINGAPORE — As we bid farewell to another eventful year, Yahoo Year in Review 2023 takes a deep dive into the top searches and topics that have captivated the curiosity of netizens in Singapore. From football favorite Manchester United to local sporting stars Loh Kean Yew and Shanti Pereira, Yahoo Year in Review 2023 reveals the top-searched local celebrities, stocks, newsmakers, most popular travel destinations, and more. 

Most searched Singaporean celebrities: Lawrence Wong and Rebecca Lim take center stage

Well-known local celebrities such as Lawrence Wong, Desmond Tan, and Fann Wong have once again proved their popularity among Singaporeans by securing spots in the top ten rankings of the most searched local celebrities for the fifth consecutive year. With the recent news of her marriage and pregnancy, Rebecca Lim (1st) ascends to the top spot as the most searched local female celebrity. Kim Lim (3rd) and Jeannette Aw (8th) continue to remain in the hearts and minds of Singaporeans as they make the list for the third consecutive year. 

Singaporean actor Lawrence Wong (1st) maintains his dominance as the most searched local male celebrity for the third consecutive year. Building on his success in the widely-acclaimed Chinese period drama Story of Yanxi Palace (2018), Lawrence continues to captivate the Singaporean audience with his versatile performances in Singapore’s comedy-drama film Reunion Dinner (2022) and modern rom-com drama Stand or Fall (2023). Meanwhile, Glenn Yong (7th) also made headlines this year and was the first and only Singaporean to make it onto the TC Candler Global list of the Top 100 most handsome faces worldwide. His international recognition adds a new dimension to Singapore’s presence on the global stage.


Most searched athletes: local athletes shine bright amongst international sports superstars

This year, two local athletes stood out as they made their mark on the world stage, claiming their spots in the list of most searched athletes alongside international sports superstars. Record-breaking Singaporean track-and-field athlete Shanti Pereira (4th) brought glory to Singapore as she clinched 5 gold medals this year; most notably in the women’s 200m final at the 2023 Asian Games, putting an end to the nation’s 49-year medal drought in the sport of athletics. Meanwhile, former men’s singles world champion Loh Kean Yew (6th) continues to draw attention and pride from Singaporeans, with his most notable performance reaching the finals at the 2023 Badminton Asia Championships.

The Messi-Ronaldo rivalry continues off the pitch into the search charts, this time, with  Cristiano Ronaldo (1st) emerging as the top searched athlete, and Lionel Messi (2nd) taking a back seat. Since joining the Saudi Arabian Club AI Nassr FC in early January this year as the world’s highest-paid athlete, Ronaldo has continued to captivate sports enthusiasts and fans alike. His exceptional performance, marked by scoring an outstanding 38 goals in 45 games, played a pivotal role in propelling AI Nassr to clinch their first Arab Club Champions Cup.

Most Searched EPL Clubs: Manchester United takes the lead, overtaking rival Liverpool 

Football fervor in Singapore continues to soar, with fans passionately searching for updates on their favorite English Premier League (EPL) clubs. Despite facing challenges in the pursuit of the Premier League title this season, Manchester United (1st), also known as the Red Devils, continues to enjoy unwavering support as an iconic football powerhouse. Under the leadership of Erik Ten Hag, Manchester United has had a stellar previous season, securing victory in the 2022–23 EFL Cup and achieving a commendable third-place finish in the 2022-23 Premier League. Making the top 10 list are some of the usual suspects and hot favorites among football fans: Liverpool (2nd) coming in at second as they look to compete for honors with a revitalized midfield, followed by current league leaders Arsenal (3rd), seeking redemption after falling short last season, and title favorites Manchester City (7th) on the charge for their fourth-straight Premier League crown.

Top 10 Newsmakers: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s noteworthy presence in the local media scene

At the forefront of the nation’s news landscape is Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (1st), who visibly teared and choked up, but quickly composed himself, in two separate instances – the National Day Rally and at the PAP convention while announcing his plans to hand over leadership. The recent Singapore Presidential Election has also thrust figures such as Ng Kok Song (5th), Tan Kin Lian (6th), and George Goh (7th) into the limelight.  

Coco Lee (2nd), a Chinese-American singer and songwriter best known for performing an Oscar-nominated song in the hit film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” was laid to rest in July this year. Her passing left a profound impact, with many cherishing her memory and contributions to the world of music and entertainment.

Top 10 Most Searched Stocks: Singapore Airlines tops the list

As Asia’s most international multi-asset exchange, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) remains a vibrant arena for investors and individuals seeking insights and opportunities. This year saw blue chip companies Singapore Airlines (SGX: C6L) (1st), OCBC Bank (SGX: O39) (2nd) and DBS Group Holdings (SGX: D05) (3rd) occupying the top three spots in the list of most searched stocks. They are followed by automotive and clean energy company Tesla Inc (TSLA) (4th), global e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA) (5th), and Keppel Corporation Ltd (SGX: BN4) (6th) as it continues to pique the interests of both individuals and investors alike with its involvement in various sectors, from offshore and marine to property and infrastructure.

Most Searched Business Leaders: Elon Musk and Ng Kok Song emerge on top

No surprise that Tesla, SpaceX, and X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk (1st) emerged as the most searched international business leader, followed by Bruce Rockowitz (2nd), husband of the late Coco Lee (also the 2nd most searched newsmaker). Progressive Thai leader Pita Limjaroenrat (3rd) came out third, while the late Chinese premier Li Keqiang (4th) and former racing chief Jean Todt (5th) completed the list.

On the local front, politics seem to have shone a light on local business leaders. Presidential hopefuls topped the list: former GIC chief investment officer Ng Kok Song (1st), George Goh (2nd) – who was disqualified from the race –, and two-time presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian (3rd) took up the top three spots. Meanwhile, tycoon Ong Beng Seng (4th), embroiled in a corruption probe, and the late Creative Technology founder Sim Wong Hoo (5th), who passed away in January, rounded up the list.

Top 5 Beauty Brands: Dior takes the crown, surpassing Sephora

French multinational luxury fashion house, Dior (1st), shot to the top of the beauty list this year with new beauty product collections. Propelling this meteoric rise are its Dior Forever Makeup collection and Diorshow 5 Couleurs eyeshadow palette, a part of the Diorshow collection – ranges that have captured the hearts (and searches) of many. In addition to these innovations, Dior expanded its presence by launching its online boutique in Singapore in June. Coming next in place is the quintessential beauty stop Sephora (2nd), known for its extensive selection of personal care and beauty products from global brands. From an apothecary shop to an internationally acclaimed skincare boutique, Kiehl’s Singapore (3rd) nabs the third place, followed by the popular K-beauty brand Innisfree (4th) and The Body Shop (5th), recognised for its dedication towards creating naturally inspired, ethically produced beauty and cosmetics products.

Top Tech Brands: Google continues to reign

Google (1st) continues to dominate the list for two years in a row as the most searched tech brand in 2023 with innovative launches, including a new artificial intelligence (AI) model named Gemini and AI Chat Service, Google Bard. This year’s rankings witness the inclusion of Xiaomi (6th) and Lenovo (7th) at the sixth and seventh positions, respectively. Both tech innovators have carved out spaces for themselves through notable product launches, with Lenovo impressing with the Legion Series and Xiaomi making waves with the 13T Series.

Top 5 Tech Gadgets: Apple’s highly anticipated iPhone 15 secures the top spot

Apple’s annual iPhone release has topped the list once again, with the long-awaited iPhone 15 (1st) coming in first place. Claiming the second position is the Nintendo Switch (2nd), a versatile gaming console that has captivated users with its hybrid design, allowing seamless transitions between handheld and TV modes. Despite not having any new releases this year, Apple’s iPad (3rd) continues to be a staple in the tech landscape, maintaining its appeal among tech enthusiasts. Samsung’s S23 Ultra smartphone (4th) also makes the list by bringing forth a high-quality camera system, vibrant display, and powerful performance. Amazon’s Kindle (5th), a perennial favourite among book enthusiasts, proves its enduring popularity as a go-to e-reader for book lovers seeking an enhanced reading experience.

Top Travel Searches: and Agoda establish themselves as the go-to sources for travel plans; staycations and cruises 

With travel back to pre-pandemic levels and an increase in travel-related searches, netizens in Singapore have been furiously searching and discovering travel options online. Earning the top spot for most searched online travel portals is (1st), while Agoda (2nd) and AirAsia (3rd) round up the list.

Even as global travel is back on the agenda, Singaporeans are still exploring local and convenient holiday options. The search trends reflect an increased interest in local hotels, with Pan Pacific Hotel Singapore (2nd), Goodwood Park Hotel (4th), Marriott Hotel (6th), Fullerton Hotel (8th), and Hilton Hotel Singapore (9th) gaining prominence. Amidst the variety of choices, Genting Dream Cruise (1st) maintains its position as an all-time favourite getaway option for many, emphasising the appeal of cruise experiences.
For the biggest moments online and other surprises from the year, take a detailed look at Yahoo’s Year in Review 2023.

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