China's largest search engine company is to enter China's
e-commerce market, in an effort to use its search technologies and
popular online communities to win a share of the personal online
trading market dominated by Alibaba's Taobao.com.
Baidu.com has already set up a business department to prepare
the trading platform connecting individual online sellers and
buyers and it is set to launch next year, said a spokesman
with the company.
The Nasdaq-listed search engine firm believed the increasing
reliance of e-commerce on search engines and online communities
would help it compete with Taobao.com, which controls more than 80
percent of the market.
Baidu.com has the biggest Chinese knowledge community and is the
first choice for 74.5 percent of Chinese when they use a
search engine, according to a survey conducted by the China
Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).
Of the 63.8 million e-commerce users, 49.2 percent conducted
online searches to find comments from other buyers before they went
to trading websites, according to studies from the Internet economy
research center, iResearch Consulting Group.
A Taobao.com spokesperson congratulated Baidu on the move,
saying that the introduction of new players would help the market
Ebay, with 15.4 percent of the market, says that the market
still has big potential and requires more powerful players to
explore new ways to develop the industry appropriately.
Baidu still needed "an experienced team on business operations
with enough execution power" to make progress in this unfamiliar
market, commented Internet analyst Lu Bowang.
(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2007)