Baidu plans Latin America expansion

The Chinese company is looking to expand its footprint in the region following launch in Brazil

Chinese search giant Baidu is looking to expand its presence in Latin America as part of a strategy to invest in developing markets.

The company's first foray into the region was in 2013, when it launched operations in Brazil and started to offer free web services before going live with its search engine last year.

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Senior executives at the Chinese firm told Brazilian newspaper Valor Econômico that it is looking into Argentina, Chile or Mexico as possible locations to set up its next Latin American base.

The company's management also implied that one of the key areas of focus would be positioning Baidu as a service aggregator, so replacing disparate apps for tasks such as taxi hailing and food ordering and creating a single platform that will offer such facilities.

To that end, the company intends to buy businesses or strike partnerships with services firms. This process has already began with moves such as last year's acquisition of Brazilian group buying firm Peixe Urbano.

Baidu is placing its bets on fast-developing markets such as Brazil: the company believes that over 43 million Brazilians will be online within the next three years and has the country as one of its priority markets for growth.