Recent actions by the Alibaba Group and Taobao to protect their market share may not be enough given the multi-front strategy taken by search engine juggernaut Baidu. With their profits up by 91% in the last quarter, Baidu seems to be using their financial success to attack other Chinese online markets.
Tightly integrated with their social network Baidu Spaces, they have just launched an online version of their instant messaging service to enable chatting between users within the browser. This is similar to the function in Facebook that was launched earlier this year that enabled real time instant messaging within the Facebook platform.
On other battle fronts Baidu has also signed up more than 100 radio stations in nearly 30 provinces and cities to beef up it’s radio recommendation service that was launched in March this year. Other new services Baidu has added to its arsenal include an investment of RMB100 million into UiTV.com for an 8.3% stake in the movie channel to salvage it’s video platform v.baidu.com, the introduction of a song channel that provides audio streaming, and earlier this month had launched it’s C2C marketplace Youa.com to compete with dominant player Taobao.
With all these new services, we can’t help but think if this is a move to just dominate the local Chinese market or a strategy to compete with the likes of Google and NewsCorp.