Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Google vs Microsoft or Baidu?

Court Documents Revealed Google's China Strategy - Target Right On Baidu

According to the court documents from Kai-Fu Lee's case, Google plans to establish a research and development center in China in three to six months. It will try to push out two "killer" programs. Possibly in the field of mobile, e-commerce, as well as entertainment.

Google plans on Chinese search, MP3 search, and mobility as their future focal points. All of those are the main advantages Baidu possesses in the Chinese market. Google plans to establish the research center in China in the fourth quarter of this year. Kai-Fu Lee's case of employment-agreement violation is still ongoing. Both of the IT giants, Microsoft and Google are involved in the case. Though many documents and emails submitted to the court are redacted to protect confidential information, the leftover portion still revealed some basic aspects of Google's China strategy.

In one email from Google's Asian search products manager James Mi, wrote on July, 27th: "In the Chinese market, quality of search is our first priority. We have fallen behind of Baidu in Chinese indexing. We also need to improve our anti-spam technology in emails". The court documents indicate that, Google has realized that they are falling behind Baidu(read story on how Baidu has beaten Google with their "Ligntning Plan" ) in many areas, such as that Google still has no MP3 search function, news content search, and pingying-input(methods of english spelling for Chinese characters) search function.

Mobile search is also Google's future focus. Kai-Fu Lee replied to a candidate with background in mobile technologies in an email: "We are very interested in you. We will be very active in the mobile market and the Chinese market". In a separate email, Lee wrote to Google: " I am very happy to go to work in China. The Chinese market has huge unpenetrated market, such as mobile communications and games".

Many documents regarding Google's near term investment plan are redacted. But one document revealed that Google is planning for a research and development facility in Beijing that can host 30 to 50 engineers.

The court documents also revealed Google's merger and acquisition strategy in China. From implications in the documents, Google is still willing to open discussions with Baidu and Currently, Google owns 2.6% of Baidu's stocks.

(Tianwai from

footnote: is a fast growing e-commerce portal in China with several business lines similar to One of the line specialize on advertisement and could be what Google is looking at.


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