Google, Baidu Shop For Video Sites
Google and Chinese search engine Baidu look to expand their reach with Chinese online video sites.
Baidu, China's top search engine, is Google China's most worthy adversary in the foreign market. In a move that would greatly broaden each company's horizons, the two are each shopping for online video sites in China.
Created in 2000 by Robin Li and Eric Xu, Baidu's mission is, "to provide the best way for people to find information online, including Chinese language web pages, news, images and multimedia files though links provided on our website. In addition to serving individual Internet search users, we also provide an effective platform for businesses to reach potential customers online."
The search engine currently holds over 60 percent of the Chinese market, with over 130 million internet users, and is ranked the number four most-viewed website in the world.
Google comes in second in the ranking to Baidu, but is rapidly expanding in the Chinese online market, which is ranked second only to America.
An inside source told Reuters this week that the two companies were looking to further their reach in the online video market, either by acquiring a company or through a mutual business agreement.
The source, which wished to remain anonymous, says that, "Google and Baidu have the same idea of expanding their online-video business in China, though they are still studying a variety of business proposals."
After Google's $1.65 billion acquisition of YouTube last month, it is unclear whether the company will simply use the existing YouTube format or convert it into YouTube China. However, to start the site from the ground up would require the acquisition of a Chinese company, and would cost a great deal of time and money.
Baidu already launched their own video website on a trial basis several months ago, and are looking to either acquire or reach a mutual agreement with local online video sites including 56.com and Tudou.com.
However the success of both company's sites, were they to be launched, might be hindered by the strict censorship laws of the Chinese government. Currently there is a ban on the encyclopedia site Wikipedia for featuring content which might be considered as disparaging to the image of the government.
For now, both companies continue to search for a compatible partner in their aspirations of online video domination in China.
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Autmn Davis is a staff writer for WebProNews covering ebusiness and technology.
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