Baidu looks to expand overseas

The company's chief executive, Robin Li, also says it is preparing a "revolutionary" product

Baidu, China's largest search engine, is looking to expand its business overseas and is preparing to invest internationally, the company's chief executive said on Thursday.

The company is facing a "window of opportunity" with the international market that it must grab, Baidu CEO Robin Li said in an interview.

"Going forward I think we should make this kind of move as early as possible," he said. "During the next five to 15 years we should see some meaningful revenue outside of China."

Li, however, did not say in which countries or types of services it would invest. But Baidu has already expanded its operations to Japan with its own search engine there. Other Chinese companies have also made efforts to go abroad, such as Alibaba.com, the country's top e-commerce site, which announced a joint venture last year for a deal in India.

As for the domestic search market, Baidu currently commands a 70 percent share according to research firm Analysys International. The company's main rival, Google, comes in second at 24.2 percent.

But even as the company continues to grow, Li said Baidu still faces competition from other homegrown companies wanting to make it in the search market.

"There is never a lack of competition in this market, you just need to become better and better and continue to innovate in order to even survive here," he said.

Li also noted that the company is developing a number of "exciting" projects for the mobile market. Baidu is preparing a "revolutionary" product, he said, but he declined to say if it was a browser or a mobile operating system.

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Michael Kan

IDG News Service
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