Baidu sets up research lab in Singapore

Chinese Internet giant partners local research organization to set up laboratory focusing on Southeast Asian language search.

SINGAPORE--As part of its efforts to expand its reach into the Southeast Asian market, Chinese Internet giant Baidu has partnered the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) to jointly set up a laboratory here to carry out research on Southeast Asian languages search.

In a statement Thursday, both organizations said the initial research of the Baidu-I2R Research Centre (BIRC) will involve foundational natural language processing technologies for Southeast Asian languages, focusing initially on Vietnamese and Thai languages. I2R is a member of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research.

The pioneer project will combine technologies from both organizations, specifically, I2R's natural language processing technology--which allows users to input their native language into the search engine--and Baidu's "Box Computing" technology, which will return "precise" results to the user, the statement said.

The lab will also cover other areas of research such as Southeast Asian language resources, natural language processing, information retrieval and information extraction, speech information processing and multimedia processing.

BRIC will operate as an R&D (research and development) unit in I2R, located at Fusionopolis in Singapore.

Wang Mengqiu, vice president of Baidu, said in the statement: "Baidu is thrilled to be joining forces with I2R for this joint laboratory. Our overlap and complementary expertise in our research areas make us perfect partners."

Last month, Baidu began the construction of a new office in Shenzen to establish its international and mobile Internet operations. The Chinese Internet company has the largest online search marketshare in China at 85.5 percent in the third quarter of 2011, according to iResearch's December report.