Baidu, the biggest search engine in China, has has partnered up with Bing to provide English language results to its approximately 350 million and growing userbase. The move will give Microsoft’s search engine an entry into the Chinese market that Google has retreated from after a spat with the Chinese government over censorship.
Baidu and Bing have previously partnered on mobile platforms and page results, but this move seems aimed at keeping Google out of the market. Google burned a lot of bridges by confronting the Chinese government, and local players will now be unlikely to partner with what the establishment regard as a rogue company. Bing on the other hand has always complied with Chinese censorship and will not have to submit to any further censorship with regards to this deal according to Baidu spokesman Kaiser Kuo.
The move from Bing comes as part of their slow and tentative expansion into emerging markets. The actual impact of this deal, however, may be negligible as the number of English keyword searches through Baidu is relatively low according to Wallace Cheung, an analyst at Credit Suisse.