Mr. Diller taking Ask to China
Barry Diller’s IAC will follow the competition and bring its Ask.com search to the Chinese market.
Although Diller didn’t fare well with a Chinese travel service IAC acquired two years ago, the magnate isn’t going to forsake any designs on China and its estimated 162 million Internet users. That’s far too many people to ignore.
Whether or not Ask.com can evade the issues that have dogged Yahoo (accused of aiding oppression of journalists) and Google (conceding to censorship demands) will depend on how well IAC can execute its planned $100 million investment in a new business in China:
“I think what we’re going to try and do is completely different than any of the other processes,” Diller said. “I know that we have learned a methodology of starting Internet businesses and relating Internet ideas one to the other and having a different kind of discipline.”
Ask.com should have a presence in China in two years. If Diller and company can meld their methodology with the needs of Chinese culture, maybe they can fare better than the US-based competitors in operation there. Beating Baidu and other native businesses may prove more difficult.