Baidu, the leading search engine in China, has officially launched its service in Japan, and hopes to overtake Google and Yahoo Japan, the current search market leaders.
China has an estimated 125 million internet users, and Baidu.com currently has a 70% share of the Chinese search engine market. Google has the second largest share with 23%, while Yahoo has 2.5%.
According to Robin Li, Baidu’s chairman, his search engine’s knowledge of the Chinese language, whose characters are also used in Japanese, would help his company compete with Google and Yahoo.
According to Li:
“Given the success 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,”
Baidu displays search results differently to Google, ranking search listings according to how much advertisers pay, and mixes paid search results in with organic listings.
The Japanese version of Baidu will offer universal search, images search, videos and blogs in the search listings.
The Chinese search engine will have to overcome the dominance of Google and Yahoo in the Japanese market.
Yahoo Japan is currently the leader, with a 60% share of the search market, while Google has around 38%.