What Google got wrong; Microsoft seems to have got right.
Microsoft’s Bing and Baidu, China’s leading search engine, have recently entered a major agreement which will give Microsoft a direct entry into China’s online market. As per the agreement Bing will be providing Baidu users search results in English by the end of the year.
As told by a Microsoft spokesperson:
When a Baidu customer enters certain English-language search queries, Baidu will return its normal results, including a section of Bing-powered results in English denoted by a small Bing logo.
Baidu has long been trying to find a suitable partner to develop and run an ‘English-language portion’ of its search engine but did not have any success till now. Surprisingly Baidu had originally chosen Google for this venture but the collaboration ended soon due to Google’s objection to follow Baidu’s censorship guidelines. The search giant then took to competing with Baidu, before giving up after 2 long years. Microsoft have accepted the Chinese censorship with out any objection which indicates that the company is more interested in China’s 470 million internet user prize than censored search results.
Chinese search engine experts predict that this partnership will results Baidu taking control of the search market share in China, removing Google from the picture completely.
As told by Baidu spokesman Kaiser Kuo:
More and more people (up to 10 million per day) here are searching for English terms, but Baidu hasn’t done a good job. So here’s a way for us to do it.
Though the fine print of the agreement is still not available, the partnership will allow Baidu to offer better English search experiences and results through Bing, while also giving its local search engine world-wide exposure .
Although Google still holds 19.6% of the online market share in China, Microsoft’s meagre 2% hold is expected to rise to as much as 97% since Baidu alone controls some 80% of the share.
Do you think this a good move for Bing or should the search engine follow Google’s advice and stay out of China?