Baidu, one of China’s leading Internet search companies, has announced its intention to break into the Japanese market next year after six months of Japanese language search technology studies.
“We believe that our proven strength in non-English language search, the high internet penetration in Japan, as well as similarities between the Chinese and Japanese languages make this market an ideal next step for Baidu,” said CEO Robin Li in a statement. “We are confident that Japan’s search engine users will appreciate Baidu’s powerful Japanese language search technology that will offer a user- friendly alternative to existing search engines.”
According to Alexa, Baidu powers 60% of the Internet searches in China and ranks among the top 5 most visited sites globally. The site’s debut on the NASDAQ in August 2005 was followed by a couple of major partnership announcements in 2006.
In November, the company signed an agreement with eBay EachNet to provide the Chinese auction site with text-based advertising in exchange for promoting the Chinese PayPal service as the preferred payment system for online merchants. Earlier this July, Baidu also signed a deal with HP to have the former installed as the default search provider on all new HP computers sold in mainland China.