Baidu Targets Japanese Market

    December 4, 2006

Top Chinese search engine, Baidu, announced plans on Monday to enter the Japanese market in the near future.

Chairman and Chief Executive officer Robin Li, stated that China’s most popular search engine Baidu had been developing Japanese-language search technology for the past six months.

Created in 2000 by Robin Li and Eric Xu, Baidu’s mission is, “to provide the best way for people to find information online, including Chinese language web pages, news, images and multimedia files though links provided on our website. In addition to serving individual Internet search users, we also provide an effective platform for businesses to reach potential customers online.”

Baidu is the fourth most viewed search engine in the entire world, holding 60 percent of the Chinese market, and they hope to use their non-English language search engine to reach the comparable Japanese market.

China has a population of 1.3 billion, of which there are 130 million Internet users, and are second in the online market only to America. Japan’s population, as of 2005, is 127. 76 million according statistical data; so there is much to be gained by Baidu in entering the market.

In a statement posted on the Baidu website, Li says, “We believe that our proven strength in non-English language search, the high Internet penetration in Japan, as well as similarities between the Chinese and Japanese languages make this market an ideal next step for Baidu.”

Baidu moving into the Japanese market should come as no surprise, however, according to reports from China Tech Stories stating that Baidu had a round of international hiring last May; which would enable the company to develop multi-lingual search engines.

Writer for China Tech Stories, Maoxianjia, stated that Baidu was seeking applicants that were, “very capable in algorithm, programming skills, they must also skillful in Chinese, English, Japanese (or Vietnamese).”

This announcement comes hot on the heels of the company having an impending lawsuit settled in their favor in Beijing courts, only two weeks ago.

The suit was filed almost a year ago by several music giants including, Universal, EMI, Warner, and Sony BMG, against China’s most popular search engine. The lawsuit alleged that Baidu enabled users to search and download music illegally on the site’s MP3 search engine and could have potentially shut down the MP3 site for indefinitely.

There is currently no word on exactly when the popular search engine will extend its reach to the land of the rising sun.

Add to | Digg | Reddit | Furl

Autmn Davis is a staff writer for WebProNews covering ebusiness and technology.