While the rest of the world conducts its online searches through Google, China has its own search engine called Badu.
A lot of people don’t realize this, but China’s online landscape exists in its own universe. The people of China aren’t allowed to use all of the apps that we’ve become used to in the rest of the world, such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp, and Pinterest.
But, you don’t have to feel bad for them because the Chinese have their own equivalents of all of these different apps. For instance, they’ve got Xiahongshu instead of Pinterest and Baidu instead of Google.
If you want to find out more about Baidu and how it works, read on as we dissect all of what this unique search engine has to offer.
- Who Founded It
While working for Dow Jones and Company in 1994, Robin Li decided to take up search engine algorithm research and tinker around with this aspect of technology as a hobby.
Out of his curiosity, RankDex was born in 1996. RankDex is an algorithm that’s designed to rank web pages and soon after he started working for Infoseek in China and in 1999 he launched Baidu.
This means that China was introduced to the Internet long after it was a thing in the west. At first, Baidu operated as a paid search service that was mainly utilized by major corporations in the country.
A year after Baidu was introduced, Robin decided to offer Baidu as an independent service.
- How Was It Funded
To launch Baidu in the early 2000s, Robin Li and his partner Eric Xu, raised $1.2 million from Silicon Valley.
About 8 months after raising this initial amount, the two partners got an additional $10 million from IDG Technology Venture and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
- It’s the Biggest Search Engine in China
Baidu was the first of its kind in China, which is why it’s the most successful search engine in the country, taking over 70% of China’s search engine market.
There are only two other search engines available to the people of China, called Shenma and Sougou but they only account for about 8.8% of the country’s search engine market. This means that Baidu accounts for over 90%.
Baidu is just like Google in the way it works. It even has its own version of Adwords, Maps and Translate, to name but a few, which is what makes marketing in China so unique.
- How Does It Make Money
How does Baidu make money? Through ads.
Chinese people are known for their love of doing product research before they go ahead and make a purchase.
So, Baidu makes the most of this traffic by running ads on health, beauty, fashion, electronics, and household products.
- Works Differently from Google
Although Baidu has its own version of Google Ads, their buying process is very different.
As a result, it’s way more difficult for businesses to establish themselves online because they have to provide Baidu with ID proof and a business license before they can start advertising on the platform.
It’s also essential to be fluent in Chinese because the app is only available in Chinese.