Baidu Inc. will use Microsoft’s Bing for some English-language results which is expected to lift Microsoft’s market share in China’s search market. No financial details of the tie-up between Microsoft Corp. and Baidu were released.
China has the world’s biggest population of Internet users, with more than 450 million people online. Global e-commerce, search and other Internet brands have struggled to gain a foothold against aggressive local competitors in a heavily regulated market.
Microsoft will censor English-language Bing search results in China. Microsoft said in a statement that Bing will use “certain filtering technologies and processes to ensure that we are in compliance with local laws.”
In a statement, Baidu vice president Samuel Shen said the agreement with Bing will improve English search for Baidu users and raise Bing’s profile in China. Baidu says its site already handles about 10 million English searches daily. However industry experts feel that a big share of future growth in Chinese search will be in the countryside, where users speak little English.
The Baidu – Microsoft co-operation is one more headache for Google which has withdrawn from the Chinese market because it decided not to be subject to China’s censorship rules. Google faces a growing threat from Facebook and to top it off the US Federal Trade Commission has launched an antitrust investigation into Google’s online-search and online-advertising business.