Baidu entering Japan

This is just comedy.
Baidu is entering the Japan market. That’s fine, understandable. But the reasons Baidu gives investors for it’s Japan entry are positively ludicrous. China and Japan are not similar at all in terms of culture, online or offline.

The Beijing-based company cites its experience with non-English languages and similarities between Japanese and Chinese as a factor that will draw users in Japan.

I’m all for more competition in Japan. But this (claim of similarities between Japanese and Chinese) is sheer nonsense.
The analysts in Japan say that Baidu may need an auction platform and a mobile platform in order to compete against Yahoo! Japan. Sensible, seeing that Yahoo! Japan has all of these pieces. Baidu might be able to buy it’s way into the Japanese auction market, but it won’t be cheap. On the mobile side, I don’t think NTT DoCoMo or KDDI would be interested in selling their businesses. So that leaves The Carlyle Group, who own 60% of Willcom. Somehow I don’t think the Carlyle guys would sell Willcom for a price Baidu would pay. I could be wrong of course.
Japanese Tech Stock Weekly Report [seekingalpha.com]

2 comments on “Baidu entering Japan
  1. Ken Jimbo says:

    I think Baidu attracts Chinese users largely because of MP3 search/downloads. This also might not happen in Japan.

  2. amida says:

    Maybe (I hope) they mean technical similarities between the Japanese and Chinese languages. That’s not so far-fetched.