Thursday, June 28, 2007

Baidu Celebrates 2-yr Anniversary for Baidu Zhidao

June 28, Beijing

Baidu celebrated the two-year anniversary for Baidu Zhidao ( Baidu Answers) in Beijing.

Robin Li, CEO of Baidu led the celebration. He indicated that, even Baidu was late to start the service, it has become the most popular answers service in the world.

According to a report by Chinese Search Behavior Research Institute which published at the event, there were 17,596,864 questions posted on Baidu Zhidao with 17,012,767 answered. The rate of problem solving is at astonishing rate of 96.7%. On daily average, there were over 10 million users visited the site, with 71,308 new questions presented and 223,907 new answers. Every question produced 3.14 (π?)user interactions.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Nobuyuki Idei Joins Baidu's Board

June 26, Beijing - Former Chairman and CEO of Sony joined Baidu's board of directors.

The tremendous leadership and experiences of Mr. Nobuyuki Idei will be very valuable assets for Baidu especially in a time that Baidu is making a major push into the Japanese market.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Baidu Plans Online Payment System?

Baidu's CFO, Shawn Wang made statements in London today, indicating Baidu's next ambitious move.

Wang told Xiaoxiang Morning News reporter Li Wei that Baidu is ready to move into the online e-commerce area. New e-commerce initiatives serving internet users and small and medium companies, such as online payment system, will be the next goldmine for Baidu's future growth.

Wang also denied that Baidu intended to move into Europe. In the near term, Baidu will only be focused on China and Japan.

Wang said that Baidu has no intention to split the stock. Today, Baidu's stock reached all time high, surpassing the "crazy high price" recorded on the day Baidu made it's IPO debut on Nasdaq. He indicated that there is no need for a stock split since the price of the stock has not hindered the trading activity with significant volumes.

Baidu has partnerships with Industrial and Commerce Bank of China as well as eBay's Paypal unit for online payment services. With the recent joining of Haoyu Sheng, who is the vice-president in charge of personal card business for the world's largest credit card company, American Express, the online payment system could be indeed a large goldmine for Baidu's future growth.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Baidu Continue to Dominate in Chinese Search

June 18, iResearch just released new search report on Chinese search market for the first quarter of 2007.

Baidu continue to dominate with a market share 66.2%, nearly tripled that of second place Google which came in at 21.2%.

Third place Yahoo continue to shrink and it's market share fell to only 2.9%.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Google sees traffic jump in China

According to Liu Jun, a vice president of research at Google.China, Google is seeing dramatic traffic pick up in China.

In the last six months, internet traffic in China has increased by 8% year over year. However, Google's traffic has increased by over 60%. "We are seeing it going up week by week" he said.

Google has hired about 100 software engineers and will hire many more in the coming months. One year ago, Google was still not very satisfied about the quality of it's Chinese search. "Our confidence level is much higher now", according to Liu.

He credited Google's gaining of market share to higher quality and fairness.

Reported by sina.technews

Separately, Google and Sina started partnership for search and search advertising yesterday.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Baidu falling behind Google?

The famous web analyst Lu Bo Wang, who was behind the 2005 Chinese search engine market survey from state sponsored CNNIC, just released a new report.

The report is the result from a blind test of search results relevancy.

There are 2769 participants involved in 11,864 tests comparing two results from Baidu and Google, while the participants without knowledge of the identity of which search engine was used.

Among all participants, 48.2% favored Google's answers while 39.8% favored Baidu's answers. Additionally, 12.1% of the results were thought to be equally good.

News, entertainment, web and IT, business, online purchase, travel, science and education, government and public information are the eight areas queried.

Results relevancy, richness, and timeliness were being judged for preference.

Baidu only won by 5% in the entertainment area probably due to it's popular MP3 service. Google does not offer MP3 service in China yet.

Google won the rest seven areas. Some areas, such as travel, online purchasing, web and IT, and science and education, Google's lead were more than 10%.

In summary, Google's search quality is clearly above that of Baidu's though the lead was not overwhelming.

The figure shows graded test results. From B1 stands slightly favors Baidu to B3 strongly favors Baidu. And from G1 slightly favors Google to G3 strongly favors Google.

Lu quit CNNIC last year and started his own company China Intelliconsulting Corp or CIC. He indicated that to ensure the fairness of the test, the state sponsored Artificial Intelligence Lab in Qinghua University were inivited and participated in the survey.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Google getting aggressive in China

Not long after releasing it's first version, Google has just updated pingyin input system for the fourth time in about as many weeks. The system is gaining significant traction with it's personalized selection of dictionary and many users reported getting good relevancy in results.

Perhaps learned from Baidu, Google acquired a small web navigation site, which is more like a web directory.

Three years ago, Baidu acquired to boost it's traffic numbers before setting to go IPO in the Nasdaq. The is very similar comparing with the offerings of Several years ago, Yahoo also bought which became a navigation site for Yahoo.China just recently.

Baidu hires Amex VP

It is reported that Baidu had hired a vice president of the world's largest credit card company, American Express.

Shen Haoyu, a Shanghai native, is vice president of American Express in charge of personal credit card business.

To hire such high profile executive, may indicate Baidu's increased ambition of becoming a powerful search player outside of China to compete head on with Google.

It could also indicate Baidu's intention to get into the finance sector based on Shen's background. A payment system similar to Google Checkout will not only help Baidu in it's advertising business but also help the whole e-commerce sector in China and thus further boost Baidu's business.