Microsoft has finally signed a ground breaking deal with China’s Baidu. Baidu is china’s largest and most popular search engine with over 75% market share. China has more than 450 internet users which makes the deal very crucial for Mircosoft.
In the new deal, Baidu will display Microsoft Bing results for all English searches. However, the results will have to be censored to meet Chinese government demands. Microsoft has struggled for years to match Google power and this deal with Baidu might prove to be decision. Google China accounts for 15% of the internet searches in China.
Baidu told The New York Times that “More and more people here are searching for English terms … but Baidu hasn’t done a good job. So here’s a way for us to do it,”
Google withdrew from Chinese internet market citing concerns over censorship and privacy issue. It is believed that the Chinese government was hacking into Google gmail accounts. Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, had been unhappy at the idea of submitting to China’s censorship for search results, and declared after the hacking incident that they would stop censoring them. That required them to withdraw from the country.
There are up to 10m English searches per day in China on the Baidu search platform and all of them will be redirected to Bing which will certainly increase Bings’s market share
Baidu is notorious for Internet censorship and had been sued by pro-democracy activists for violating the U.S. constitution by the censoring it conducts in accord with the demand of the Chinese government. Internet companies of China, without many exceptions, had also been accused of divulging user data unethically resulting in the imprisonment of pro-democracy activists
In its operation in China, for the first time in history, Bing operate without competition from Google