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Baidu – Chinese Search Engine or International Player?

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.

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Gemma Houghton

Director of Marketing at Webcertain
Gemma has worked in international search marketing for over 15 years and is Director of Marketing at Webcertain, overseeing all marketing activities for the Group. She also organises and programmes Webcertain’s International Search Summit and International Social Summit, Barcelona-based conferences focusing on international and multilingual digital marketing. Gemma holds a Professional Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a Diploma in Management and Leadership from the Chartered Management Institute, and a BA joint honours degree in French and German.

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