Emily Tan
Jun 24, 2011

VIDEO: Baidu set to expand, but where?

HONG KONG - Haoyu Shen, senior vice-president of business operations, Baidu, discusses the search engine operator's international expansion plans to "non-English speaking countries".

wide player in 16:9 format. Used on article page for Campaign.

Despite announcing international expansion plans earlier this year, Baidu is still in the research and planning stage and has not yet identified specific countries or has a definitive timeline for its expansion.

However, Shen was able to disclose that China’s largest search-engine would be looking at non-English speaking nations that presented unique opportunities for the company.

“We’re in Japan and have been there for awhile but as to identifying other countries, we’re not at that stage yet," Shen told Campaign Asia. "We’re looking for markets where we have an angle for entry.”

The “angle for entry” Baidu is looking for is a market where its technology and know-how present it with an edge or advantage over competitors. “We built our technology from the ground up for China, we did it again for Japan, and we’re prepared to do it for any market of size we may expand into,” said Shen.

He added that Baidu still had room to grow in China and was not about to neglect its primary market. “There’s still tremendous potential for growth in China. We’re looking at plans that span the next 10 years – by which time we forecast that a large part of our company’s growth will be from interntional markets,” said Shen.

From a technology standpoint, Baidu is currently focusing on two main projects – expanding its ability to support contextual advertising, and a multi-language platform that will support its expansion into international markets.

“Contextual advertising is running advertisements relevant to the browser. It could be tied to the website’s contents, but it could also be based on the user’s browsing history,” said Shen. “We feel that there is great room for growth here as the online content for China is expanding so rapidly but website owners often don’t have the know-how or the means to run relevant advertisement campaigns. We have the data, the reach and the advertisers to do so.”

Speaking about advertising campaigns, Shen advises marketers and advertisers to consider search implications in any campaign they run – online or offline.  “Often search is either not included, or considered part of the digital campaign. But if someone sees your advertisement on TV, in print, on a billboard, you have to consider that they will look you up online,” he said.

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