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Baidu to take on Google in South America

There is one word that comes to mind when evaluating Baidu’s 2011 financial performance: gangbusters. Although Google CEO and co-founder, Larry Page, used that very same word to describe Google’s Q3 2011 earnings, this seems very applicable to the Chinese search giant’s outstanding performance in the year gone by.

Baidu’s release of its financial results last week revealed astonishing growth across the board, with total revenues and operating profit increasing by 83.2% and 91.4%, respectively, compared to 2010.

Stating the obvious, Baidu’s dominant position in the world’s largest internet market is unquestionably very desirable, but analysts have speculated that the Chinese market alone does not provide enough room for Baidu’s continuous exponential growth. Baidu founder, Robin Li, made it very clear on several occasions that the company’s ambition is to become a universally recognised brand, however, while Asia has been an obvious first choice for expansion, we have been awaiting the company’s first major move outside of that region.

And the Oscar goes to…

Last week, February 15, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced that Baidu is opening an office in Sao Paulo in order to gain a better understanding of the Brazilian and Latin American markets. Baidu has disclosed that this is the first step in its plans to challenge Google’s dominating position in South America, where it currently has around a 90 percent share of the total search market.

Do you think Baidu will stand a chance going up against Google in South America?

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Immanuel Simonsen

Research Manager at Webcertain
As the Research Manager of multilingual web marketing agency Webcertain, Immanuel heads up the company’s global market research activities and large content marketing projects. He is the author of several reports and guides, including ‘The Essential Guide to Rel-Alternate-Hreflang’ and ‘The Webcertain Global Search and Social Report 2013’. Apart from being a tutor at the International Marketing School -- teaching online marketing professionals on business opportunities around the globe -- Immanuel is a regular speaker at the International Search Summit, a leading event series dedicated to multilingual search and social media marketing.

3 Responses to Baidu to take on Google in South America

  1. Marcelo, personally I don’t think Baidu stand a chance at beating Google in South America. But what we’ve seen in other countries is that the second largest search engine typically claims around 20 percent of the total market.

    There’s a long, long way to go since Baidu has no data on South America. Additionally, it’s a completely new market, different culture, language and all that this implies. However, if Baidu succeeds in understanding the culture and providing services to suit these needs accordingly, I could see Baidu gaining some share at the expense of Google far down the road – but it is indeed far down the road.

  2. Marcelo says:

    Google share in Brazil is 95% and it’s around 80% in all South America. Do you think Baidu has any chance to beat them?

  3. […] editor Immanuel Simonsen clearly feels this has to do with finance. He looked at Baidu’s financial results compared to Googe and saw that Baidu saw its “total revenues […]

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