Last year the Chinese search engine juggernaut openedÂ its research centre in Singapore to expand their foothold outside its home country. Going beyond China, Baidu intends to expand throughout Southeast Asia, and even further. The company had put in resources to support this strategic move by initially launching localization for several languages — English and Arabic — and also working on more (such as French). A few days ago, we saw an opening on LinkedIn, in whichÂ Baidu is looking for someone to helm its Indonesia operations.
The person’s main responsibility will be management of its local office and operations, product research and development, consumer behavior, business model, marketing and competition strategy. As with any operations management role, the individual would also be overseeing HR, administration and logistics.
Baidu has been making improvements that will help reach out to a more international audience. For instance, one improvement the search engine would like to emphasize is “phonetic” or “pin-yin” search. With this feature, the users just simply key in Chinese keywords with their sound-alike equivalents in the English alphabet. Switching from English input to Chinese and back-and-forth is no longer needed.
Baidu is also pushing its pay for performance advertising model. Aside from accessibility to large online audiences in China, Baidu caters to specific group-based interests, which are determined by search queries and results.
Until now, a question still remains: whether Baidu will tie up with a local company or set-up shop by themselves. Media conglomerate MNC, the Indonesian company most likely to become their partner in tapping the market, has officially announced the deal in establishing a joint venture with Baiduâ€™s rival Tencent with support from Hillhouse Capital Management. The collaboration brings in Tencent social network and entertainment products into Indonesia.
To this extent, apparently the latter scenario will take place. And the opening posted by staffing manager Helen Yu has shown their preference in establishing their presence in the country.