China’s biggest search engine Baidu.com, which previously offered search results only in Chinese, says that Microsoft’s search engine Bing will appear on its website by the end of year, returning searches in English. “Baidu, which dominates Chinese-language search services here with about 83 percent of the market, has been trying for years to improve its English-language search services because English searches on its site are as many as 10 million a day, the company said. Now it has a powerful partner.”
What’s the Big Idea?
Microsoft’s agreement with Baidu is something of a coup. A year and a half after public disagreements began between the Chinese government and Google, resulting in the company pulling its offices from the mainland, Microsoft will be given access to the world’s largest group of Internet users. It aims to meet the rising demand for English search results among China’s estimated 470 million users. Google, for its part, is acting demure. It insists that search is not its priority in China and that there is more money in selling advertising to Chinese businesses.