China’s Baidu launches English blog as part of global push

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Backing up its intention to expand globally, Chinese search engine giant Baidu has launched an English-language blog on the country’s online culture, a company spokesman said on Tuesday.

Baidu Beat intends to introduce and explain to foreign users the hot topics and trends on China’s internet, which is now used by more than 450-million people.

“It’s really out of a desire to give people who are interested in China but who don’t necessarily read Chinese or don’t read fluently in Chinese an opportunity to understand what Chinese internet users are doing”, said spokesman Kaiser Kuo.

“You can see what the intentions of Chinese people are by what trends are on Baidu.”

Kuo said the blog could help promote the Baidu brand — which analysts say remains unfamiliar to overseas users — although he insisted the move was not commercial.

As Kuo explains on the site, “Baidu publishes what we call the Feng yun bang, a list updated in near real time at www.top.baidu.com that shows the top searches in different categories for the day and the week and — for some categories — the month. Each day we’ll pick a few topics and explain a little about what they’re about.”

Baidu holds more than 70 percent of China’s search engine market, followed by US rival Google with a 20-percent share, according to industry analysts.

The Nasdaq-listed Chinese company has offered a Japanese-language search engine for two years, and founder Robin Li has said he wants Baidu to become a household name in half the world’s countries in 10 years. – AFP

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