Ambition of Baidu on Global expansion
Baidu has dominated China for quite long and no company has the ability to shake its top market share in the short term. Though Baidu claimed itself as the biggest Chinese search engine in the world, it is still a local company, no matter on the way of doing business or the clients. Apparently, Baidu knows that, and seriously plan the new target – the global expansion.
Comparing to its success in China, Baidu has lots of difficulties in any other markets, so Baidu keeps on trying to grow outside China.
Early in 2007, Baidu started the first round of international expansion in Japan by working with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, but failed. Baidu still has a presence in Japan, but internally, it acknowledged that the market there is difficult.
Last year, Baidu corporated with Bing to improve its English search results. Baidu is not good at search in English. For those who have used Baidu to search in English, for most of the time, the search results are not very relevant. To solve this, Baidu inserted the search result from Bing for English search.
On January 2012, news released that Baidu will invest about 2 billion RMB in Shenzheng to build an International headquarters. It planed to focus mainly on the R&D center to start its strategic project of Internet Operating System.
On February 23, 2012, Baidu announced that it has established cooperation with Singapore Science and Technology Research Council, and set up a joint laboratory in Singapore and carry out joint R&D on underlying network technology.
Last month, Baidu International launches Australian office. In America, Baidu pointed an SEM company as exclusive partner for business development.
Baidu has set up the international product center, and is going to work with international firms to set up research center in different countries. Besides already mentioned countries such as Japan, Singapore, and Australia. Baidu also plans to expand the research team in India, Brazil and USA.
Baidu’s global plan has started strategically and only covers a few areas. It is not easy to grow outside China, so the management team is very cautious on each step. It had stated last May that Baidu was working on offering its services in 12 foreign languages. Just like Robin Li, CEO of Baidu, mentioned on a press conference, international expansion is an "important way" for the company to spur future growth.
*Image is from biannews