Dominant Chinese search engine Baidu quietly launched more of its international efforts with the help of a Singapore-based partner and their new website – Baidu International [baiduint.com] – and a Twitter account [twitter.com] to start following people in the search industry.
The Twitter profile states it is "Baidu International, the trading name of China Search Int (CSI), a Baidu partner focused on helping companies access consumers through advertising on Baidu."
Their Twitter account is pretty active. It's worth following if you're into SEO in Asia.
It still is a 3rd party - a new Singaporean company who have partnered with Baidu to provide an avenue for international marketers to advertise on Baidu without having to go through the rigmarole of contacting Beijing! Being in Singapore also removes the tedium of having to remit to Baidu foreign currency (which is difficult) or RMB (which is very difficult from the West).
People entering China still have a lot of obstacles to overcome in terms of having the appropriate licenses to convert RMB to their home currency, having a proper localised Chinese website with the licensing rules if you want a .cn domain and, if they want to set up an organisation in China, obtaining all those licenses needed to trade.
For people wanting to put their toe in the water, however, this may be a good way to start.
That office was probably for Baidu Japan though. That has been there since 2007 I believe, and was opened in conjunction with their Japanese language search engine.
Actually Bill Baidu Japan at that time didn't have any ads on it. Their function was to coordinate sales for ads targeting China. I remember that also even now Baidu.jp uses the Yahoo Japan feed you don't need sales staff for that.
At that time at the agency I was at we had Chinese staff in the office. Now at my agency we just get outbound campaigns done by our offices in China. For the last 3 years that's why I have no idea what the local Baidu Japan office is up to.
Didn't know that. I'd always just had my offices in China deal directly with Baidu. I'd never bothered with the Baidu Japan office. I guess it's good to know if you wanted some Japanese support for ads in China.