Users of Chinese Internet search provider Baidu will start seeing results from Microsoft Bing in China.
The leading Chinese language Internet search provider, Baidu, and
Microsoft are teaming up to provide users of Baidu with results from
Bing, Microsoft's search engine, after English-language search entries
are entered in China. A spokeswoman for Shanghai MSN Network
Communications Technology, also known as MSN China, told
The Wall Street Journal that the search results returned to Chinese users would be labeled as coming from Bing.
Baidu is looking to expand its user base after fending off
market-share increases from Google, while Microsoft is trying to keep
momentum going for Bing, which has seen its user base for the search
service grow in the United States. "This is not good news for Google,"
Jake Li, who rates Baidu shares "accumulate" at Guotai Junan Securities
in China, told
"More and more people here are searching for English terms," Kaiser Kuo, the company's spokesman, told
The New York Times. "But Baidu hasn't done a good job. So here's a way
for us to do it." Last week Baidu reported total revenues in the first
quarter of 2011 were $372 million, an 88.3 percent increase from the
corresponding period in 2010. The company currently expects to generate
total revenues in an amount ranging from $493.3 million to $503.9
million for the second quarter of 2011, representing a 68.7 percent to
72.4 percent year-over-year increase.
"Monetization improvements combined with continuing solid traffic
growth drove another great quarter for Baidu," said Robin Li, chairman
and chief executive officer of Baidu. "We remain focused on enhancing
our Phoenix Nest platform to improve return on investments for our
existing customers and enhancing awareness of the benefits of search
engine marketing among the tens of millions of SMEs and large companies
in China who are not yet using our Phoenix Nest platform."
Qunar, the most widely used travel search engine in China, and Baidu
recently announced an agreement under which Baidu has committed to make
a $306 million strategic investment in Qunar. The investment will make
Baidu the majority shareholder of Qunar. Founded in 2005, Qunar offers
Chinese consumers real-time searches for air and rail tickets, hotels
and tour packages.
Qunar also provides travel-related resources such as group-buying
deals and user discussion forums. According to iResearch, a China-based
independent research firm, Qunar ranked No. 1 among travel Websites in
China as measured by daily unique visitors in March 2011. Qunar has the
widest coverage of any travel search engine in China, with more than
11,000 air routes and 102,000 hotels worldwide.
The closing of the definitive agreement is subject to customary
conditions. The parties currently expect that the transaction will
close in the third quarter of 2011. After the investment, Qunar will
continue to operate as an independent company, while both companies
will cooperate in certain areas of online travel search. Baidu plans to
finance the investment through obtaining a third-party loan facility.