The Chinese search engine, Baidu, announced today that they would be partnering with Microsoft and Bing to power their web search services in English. This comes only a year and a half after Google pulled its popular search engine out of China due to censorship concerns.
Baidu has dominated the Chinese-language search engine service with about 83% market share. However, the search engine service has been trying for several years to improve its English language search services due to a large number of English searches on the site. In fact, the site received as many as 10 million English searches a day.
Expect this new partnership with Baidu and Microsoft to result in censored searches. Microsoft and Baidu both did not disclose the terms to their partnership, but Baidu remains strict in controlling Internet companies and search results that are deemed to be dangerous or problematic, such as human rights issues and dissidents.
“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,” said a spokesperson from Baidu.
“Microsoft respects and follows laws and regulations in every country where we run business. We operate in China in a manner that both respects local authority and culture and makes clear that we have differences of opinion with official content management policies,” Microsoft mentioned. “Bing’s cooperation with Baidu will allow the vast Baidu users to receive better English search experiences and results.”
Google continues to be available on the mainland. Google’s search engine, however, is located in Hong Kong, where Beijing’s censorship rules do not apply.