Google says no to possible increased stake in Baidu.com
The dominating player in the online search engine market Google has said that they have no immediate plans to hike their minor stake in the most popular search engine in the Chinese market Baidu.com. Other major players like Yahoo! and MSN both are actively targeting this market to have a dominating share and are expanding their businesses in this country.
Daniel Alegre, the director of international Websearch & Syndication said in a statement: “We have a very small stake in the company, which is a strategic investment that was made a while back, but as far as I know there aren’t any plans beyond that. The company owns close to 2.6 percent of Baidu and was rumored to be considering hiking their stake in the company.
Googleâ€™s comments are also important considering the search engine itself has said that they plan to go ahead on their own and are not looking for a major foreign investor. Yahoo! on their part recently paid $1 billion for 40 percent of Chinese Web auctioneer Alibaba.com as they aimed to take on Baidu.com and eBayâ€™s Chinese unit.
Google on their own are themselves working hard on improving their services targeted at the Chinese web users. They hired former Microsoft Inc. executive Li Kaifu to head their operations along with Johnny Chou who used to work in UTStarcom. Alegre also added: “We are focused on building products that are very tailored to the Chinese market and tapping into the tremendous engineering pool that China has.â€
At its current growth rate, market analysts believe that China would overtake USA within 5 years in terms of the number of online users.