In a Wall Street Journal interview, Baidu CEO Robin Li stated that international expansion will be a key revenue driver for the Chinese search engine in the coming years. Baidu launched a Japanese version of its site in 2008 and according to Li, expects to see international markets providing a significant amount of their revenue over the next 5 to 10 years. The US, however, will not be a key target, due to the strength of the global players such as Google and Microsoft in that market.
Baidu is a homegrown Chinese search engine, which saw huge success in that market long before Google withdrew its Chinese website and its local appeal to the Chinese people, as well as compliance with the Chinese government makes it successful in China – and very hard to beat. However, does it have what it takes to enter new markets and challenge existing and established search engines?
Li is very positive about the future at Baidu and the “revolutionary” product it is currently working on for the mobile market – although he wouldn’t give any details on what it was. Whatever happens, the search world should prepare to see Baidu as more than a Chinese search engine for Chinese users.