Baidu Blocked By Major Chinese Sites

    September 15, 2008

It appears that Baidu, the Chinese search giant, has hit a bit of a stumbling block.  Some major portals and social networks in its home market have stopped the company’s spiders from indexing their sites.

You may or may not recognize the names Sohu,, and Xiaonei.  In any event, Anita Davis reports that the more official explanation for their actions is related to protecting users’ personal profiles.  She noted, "These profiles, many of which were created for private audiences, can be crawled by search engines and the information contained on these pages can end up among search engine results."

Baidu Logo

Privacy hasn’t historically been something that companies in China do much to protect, however, which leads us to an alternative reason.  Baidu may just be getting too powerful for everyone’s tastes.

By way of explanation, Davis continued, "Just this week, Baidu, which claims 60 per cent of China’s search market share, announced beta tests of its e-commerce site that the company hopes will directly rival market powerhouse Alibaba."

So Baidu’s now left to either work out some deals, circumvent the blocks, or present incomplete search results.  It’s not an ideal situation for a company that’s accustomed to ruling the market.  And as long as their spiders aren’t stopped in a similar way, the Chinese arms of Google and Yahoo now have an opportunity to get a leg up.