Microsoft’s Bing search engine will provide English-language search results for Baidu, China’s largest search engine, the companies announced Monday.
Further details of the deal, including its financial terms, weren’t disclosed.
The move follows Google’s decision last year to pull its search engine from China’s mainland, following a high-profile dust-up over censorship of search results. The Google.cn page now redirects visitors to Google’s Hong Kong search site when they attempt to enter terms into the search bar.
Baidu holds roughly 80 percent of the search engine market in China. Better English-language results through Bing may boost its share even higher.
The company has made other recent moves to expand its footprint. Last month, it announced a US$306 million deal with Qunar, a Chinese travel search engine, that will see Baidu become Qunar’s majority shareholder.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is no doubt eager to gain better access to China’s roughly 480 million Internet users as it tries to chip away at Google’s vast lead in the global search engine market.
So far this month, Google held 91.07 percent of the worldwide market compared to 3.21 percent for Bing, according to figures generated Monday by Statcounter’s GlobalStats website.