mademetop - 10:17 am on Oct 7, 2011 (gmt 0)
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.