Monday, September 26, 2005

Baidu Watch

10/16 Update

10/9 What does a Chinese do when they finished the week-long vocation of National Day Holiday? The answer is Baidu YiXia (or to Baidu). From data, Baidu saw a huge surge in traffic volume which broke the highest mark of the year. A surge in volume was also seen in the days before the holiday when people were happy to see the Baidu.maps beta just available right before the holidays started.

10/8 Baidu and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China signged broad agreement on co-development in on-line payment system and many aspects of e-commerce.

10/8 Baidu sponsored Search Behavior Research Lab in Peking University.

10/2 Baidu's map service is a big hit. Baidu's map beta service are now only available in several large cities, but the impact has been tremendous. This week, China is celebrating national day with a week-long national holidays. Since the long vocations worked well in the past to stimulate domestic spending especially in area such as tourism and shoppings, it has been called "golden week".

From the Alexa's data which are followed closely in China, Baidu has seen it's traffic surge during last few days while other portals as well as online gaming giants have seen their traffic slowed down. One analyst attribute Baidu's gain mainly on the timely release of it's beta map services. Though Google's bendi also provides map service in China, it has clearly designed by foreigners.

The reason is that the sequence of Chinese characters that composed into phrases are often running opposite to the way English composed. For regular users, they have found that Bendi is too tricky to search for a place unless you know how to input the whole official name. Baidu has done a very good job at guessing the most popular places for users when they input some simplified keywords. Several other features in Baidu's map is also favored by local users such as the connection between point A and point B with distance measurement. For sophisticated users, and the wider availabilities, has gained about equal acceptance with many saying they don't have clear preference for which one to use.

9/28 Yesterday, Baidu successfully completed a week-long mission. The "Construction of an enterprise with good market sense and increased competitiveness" seminar series were held around six large cities. It is the largest mission for Baidu's enterprise software division. Baidu held the seminars together with partners in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Dalian, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou to introduce search applications to businesses.

Nearly one thousand medium to large companies, medical equipment manufactures, and government agencies were gethered togethered. Baidu introduced them search applications, products and development trends, as well case studies of competitive intelligence products. The seminars were very well received with many expressed purchasing intentions on the spot.

9/26 Baidu's CEO, Robin Li attended the opening ceremony for Baidu's Guangzhou subsidiary.

According to Ministry of Information Industry, Guangzhou ranked number one in commercial usage of internet nationwide. 89% of businesses in Guangdong province have used internet for sales and marketing purposes. In Beijing, usage of online sales is around 70%. While in Shanghai, it is around 85%.

9/27 Court hearing started at Beijing Municipal Intermediate Court. Seven companies include Global, and Warner Music are sueing Baidu for providing illegal music download services to internet users. Baidu insists it does not provide such service besides providing links resulted from user's MP3 search on Baidu.

9/27 The comparison of Baidu's beta version of map service with Google's Bendi service is currently a hot topic around many websites in China. The preliminary results is that Baidu again has beaten Google on this front with it's better understanding of user inputs of keywords as well as more user friendly vision effect of connections between point A and point B. Some commentary pointed out that as long as Baidu stays as focused as they are doing now, It will be hard for Google to beat them.

However, there is a good chance that Google still could buyout Baidu since if Baidu purchased by a Google's competitor, such as eBay or Microsoft, it could totally ruin Google's chance in China.

9/27 After suffering a big drop in traffic ranking due to Alexa's readjustment of ranking criterions, traffic to Baidu's search site has roared back and again reached number 4 ranking on Monday. The continue surge in Baidu's usage among Chinese users has more than offset the drawback surrounding Baidu's contraversial MP3 service.

An analyst in Beijing also downplayed the threat of a possible withdrawal of MP3 on Baidu's business, saying the voluntary withdrawal of similar service from Netease has not produced any significant negative impact.

Related Articles

Baidu's Amazing 72 Hours (9/9/05)

Google Lost Ground To Baidu

Baidu Report From China Sources(9/10/05)

Search Engine: Facilitator of E-Commerce

Baidu's Six Years(Part 1) (9/11/05)

Baidu's Six Years(Part 2) (9/12/05)

Baidu's Six Years(3)

Baidu's Six Years(4)

Baidu Becomes Largest Web Business Platform

Baidu's Price To Surpass Google's?(9/12/05)

Baidu: Not Just "China's Google" (9/12/05)

Google Plans to Buy Baidu?

Deep Impact - Google collide with Baidu in Chinese Market (1)

Deep Impact - Google collide with Baidu in Chinese Market (2)


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