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Microsoft, Baidu Partner In China

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MSN and Windows Live have chosen to try and gain the hearts and pageviews of China’s growing Internet userbase by teaming their job search with Baidu’s paid search ads.

Sometimes to get very far, you have to go local. Microsoft wants to avoid some of the issues its competitors have hit when entering the country on their own.

Making friends with the neighbors has brought Microsoft and Baidu together. Classified Intelligence reported when the job search service debuts on Windows Live and MSN in China, it will be supported with Baidu’s advertising product.

Microsoft has been oblique about choosing Baidu over its homegrown adCenter service. “We believe this will help us provide new opportunities for advertisers, which will further enhance our search business in China,” Microsoft said in a statement.

That could be seen as a vote of no confidence in adCenter. It’s more likely that Microsoft wants to build on the appeal its MSN Messenger has with the young professionals who would be likely to use a job search product more than other groups, and doesn’t want to wait to make adCenter ready for China.

A faster ramp-up to launch will get Microsoft in position to go head to head with the top three job search sites in the country. It was also suggested in the report that Microsoft’s sites may not have enough traffic to financially justify running adCenter. The Baidu partnership may just make more monetary sense for Microsoft.


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