China’s dominant search engine Baidu is trying to expand its reach beyond Chinese-language speakers. Reuters is reporting that Baidu and Microsoft have done a deal that will offer Bing powered English-language results for the Chinese search engine.
It’s not clear whether this is limited to China or will be used in other markets where English is spoken. We’ve asked Microsoft for some additional color and perspective.
Baidu controls roughly 80 percent of the search market in China, according to several sources. Google is second with approximately 19 percent.
A Bloomberg report suggests the Baidu-Bing partnership is limited to providing English results to domestic Chinese users. If so those results will likely face the same censorship rules that Google rebelled against early last year.
We’ll update this post if Microsoft gets back to us.
Postscript: A Microsoft spokesperson offered the following general statement and confirmation of the deal:
Baidu and Microsoft have announced that Bing, Microsoft’s decision engine, will provide English search results to Baidu users in China.