baidu_0I came across an interesting article on Baidu.com, the dominant search engine in the PRC.  Focused on their market dominance versus Google, who seem to still be struggling with strategy for growth (and particularly in administration) in China, the article provides some insight into how this company has succeeded, and where their recent past and current focuses lie.

An excerpt: “‘Once Baidu went public, they invested in brand advertising, something that Google has just been arrogant in their reluctance in a growing market to invest in any kind of advertising to increase their brand awareness,’ explained Harrington. ‘Baidu went into all the smaller cities and put up billboards, bus ads, and even commercials.”‘

Internet proliferation and usage differs across the world, and the online experience varies widely based on cultural factors, government and other regulatory decisions, and commercial forces. In the U.S., we see a handful of  companies branching out into new technologies and usages umbrella-style, for example, growing from a search-based model to include media technologies, social networking tools, communications functions, and even platform and user interface technologies.  We also see companies that were formerly communications (email) based wrap their arms around “Web 2.0” features and strategies in order to stay relevant.  Baidu is doing some of this too, certainly aware of leading trends in the U.S., however they are acting in strategic consideration of limitations related to Chinese government restrictions.  The thing to keep in mind is that the Internet evolves in different ways in different parts of the world – our own “user experience” does not necessarily represent that of others.

Check out the article, though.  There are some really interesting facts about Internet usage in the PRC.

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