Baidu's share of the Chinese search market is going to get much bigger quite soon, if the company has its way. An exec explained this morning that Baidu would like to see its share reach 79 percent next year.
Tang Hesong, General Manager of Corporate Development at Baidu, relayed that figure at a news conference, according to Reuters, and since Analysys International determined Baidu's market share to be just 64.0 percent in the first quarter of this year, it's possible to suppose that the company's sights are set too high.
It's not hard to imagine that the goal is realistic - or even conservative - though. Baidu's rate of growth between the fourth quarter of 2009 (when it had a market share of 58.4 percent) and the first quarter of 2010 make the jump look achievable, for example. In fact, if Baidu continued to gain share at that pace, it'd clear the 80.0 percent mark this year.
Then it's of course necessary to consider that Google's position has only gotten weaker since it brought Google.com.hk into play on March 22nd.
So don't be surprised if Baidu manages to corner the Chinese search market in the very near future. The less predictable factor is how much money the company will make as a result, and how Google (and Google's shareholders) will respond.