In another blow to Google in China, it's just been announced that its key U.S. rival, Microsoft, is teaming up with its key Chinese rival, Baidu, to provide English search in Chinese cyberspace. From the New York Times:
Baidu, previously primarily a Chinese-language search engine, made the announcement Monday afternoon, saying Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, was expected to appear on Baidu’s Web pages by the end of this year.
Baidu, which dominates Chinese-language search services here with about 83 percent of the market, has been trying for years to improve its English-language search services because English searches on its site are as many as 10 million a day, the company said. Now it has a powerful partner.
“More and more people here are searching for English terms,” Kaiser Kuo, the company’s spokesman, said Monday. “But Baidu hasn’t done a good job. So here’s a way for us to do it.”
Baidu and Microsoft did not disclose terms of the agreement. But the new English-language search results will undoubtedly be censored, since Beijing maintains strict controls over Internet companies and requires those operating on the mainland to censor results the government deems dangerous or troublesome, including references to human rights issues and dissidents.