Baidu aims to take on Google and Yahoo in Japan

  • same characters used in both China and Japan may give Baidu a good help.

TOKYO - China's top Internet search firm Baidu.com aims to overtake Google and Yahoo Japan with its local search engine in Japan, its executives said on Wednesday.

"We hope to replicate what happened in China," said Baidu's chairman and Chief Executive Robert Li. Baidu's expertise in the Chinese language, whose characters are also used in Japanese, would help with the launch of the new site at http://www.baidu.jp/.

"we have already encountered after nearly one year of testing our beta site, we are confident that we can provide a high quality Japanese-language search engine," Li said. He told a press conference that the company had taken measures to ensure legal compliance in Japan including over copyrights, a frequent concern developed economies raise with China.

Baidu, which holds a 70 percent market share in China, expanded its Japanese language services to include blog searches in its quest to break into the world's second-largest economy. It will also consider entering Japan's consumer e-commerce market, which would likely involve setting up a direct sales team.

Li did not give a time by which Baidu aims to take top market share in Japan, but he said that in a market where Yahoo and Google hold a combined 80-90 percent share, it could take a while.

"We will be very patient," he said.

(Reuters, AFP)

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