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Baidu Japan's 'real start'

January 23, 2008

   
5:31 am on Jan 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Baidu Japan [baidu.jp]'s relatively sparse home page has a little announcement on it that states they will be starting up something new. According to the flash movie they will be focusing on video, travel and food.

Mark your calendars everyone! ;)

6:42 am on Jan 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Bill, what do you think about the relevance of the results in Japan? When I check my keywords, the results seem all over the place.
8:04 am on Jan 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Honestly they send me hardly any traffic at all, and compared to the big guys, nothing, so I haven't paid them much mind. My keywords do moderately well in the Baidu Japan SERPs, but I see a lot of what appear to be monetized shopping links above me compared to other SEs. I guess I'll need to look at them some more after the 23rd.
8:14 am on Jan 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Same, I get a lot of Yahoo directory stuff on my serps. I have my calendar set though for the 23rd. :)
1:52 am on Jan 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The plot thickens...

Baidu opens Japan office, to launch search services and build R & D center [interfax.com]

Wu Zhimei from Baidu's PR department said that Baidu opened an office in Japan earlier this month, staffed mainly by Japanese nationals. Wu confirmed that the company will launch new search services in Japan soon, though refused to reveal any details in advance of a company press conference scheduled for the end of this month.

In addition, Wu said Baidu may set up an R & D center in Tokyo as part of its Japan expansion plan this year. She refused to give the exact date when the center will open.

8:20 am on Jan 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Didn't know this...

Baidu to Start Japanese Search Service After One-Month Delay [bloomberg.com]

Baidu.com Inc., operator of China's most-used Internet search site, will introduce its Japanese- language service on Jan. 23, a month later than expected.

The start of the service was postponed to avoid the new year's holiday in Japan and not because of any technical problems, Wei Fang, a spokesman for Baidu, said today by telephone. Chief Executive Officer Robin Li had said in October that the service would start by the end of 2007.

6:04 am on Jan 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Numbers! All right! ;)

Baidu To Take 10% of Japanese Market [pacificepoch.com]

Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) CEO Robin Li estimates that Baidu.jp will garner ten percent of the Japanese market in its first stage of operations, reports Southern Metropolitan News. Baidu has already selected its Tokyo office and organized the majority of its employees in preparation for the official release of Baidu.jp scheduled for January 23, according to the report.

6:58 am on Jan 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Pretty bold. Let's see if they can walk the walk...
1:44 am on Jan 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm a tad underwhelmed. The new homepage has a few more bells and whistles, (and the SERPs are still sketchy), but I don't see this being a real draw for people in Japan yet.
2:18 am on Jan 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I wasn't impressed with the web 1.5 interface. The video search is not too bad though...
2:19 am on Jan 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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and I think the design is not "busy enough" to get people to change from Yahoo.
3:18 am on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I can't access www.baidu.jp from the Mainland at all!
Seems Baidu have a lot to improve on this regard!
4:22 am on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I can't access www.baidu.jp from the Mainland at all!
Seems Baidu have a lot to improve on this regard!

There was some controversy about this. The general buzz is that Chinese users were using Baidu.jp to surf for forbidden content including porn, political, gambling and other things, and that's why China cut off access to the site from China. I've read some very fervent conspiracy theorists who claim that Google was behind getting the block put into place. Regardless of the details, it's been blocked on the Great Firewall.