Chinese search engine Baidu has finally started to operate in Brazil on Thursday, nearly two years after its developer set up an office in the country.
The Chinese company started offering free web services in Brazil in 2013 before launching its search engine. Baidu is the second most used search engine in the world on desktops, with a 16.49 percent market share, according to data from Net Applications. Google leads the segment with 71.04 percent.
The Chinese search giant wants to capitalize on the growing number of internet users in Brazil: the company believes that over 43 million Brazilians will be online within the next three years — so these new users need an affordable, simple to use platform.
Similarly to Google, the Brazilian version of Baidu is pretty lean and also allows image and video search. It also displays subjects that are being searched for the most at that moment.
The launch of Baidu in Brazil coincided with a series of agreements between the Brazilian and Chinese governments, also made public yesterday during an official ceremony with Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. These included the creation of a "digital city" in the remote state of Tocantins with funding provided by the Chinese Development Bank and improved partnerships with universities to support the international scholarships program of the Brazilian government.
Other agreements around incentives with other Chinese tech organizations were also signed yesterday — including Alibaba, the Chinese version of Amazon.com, around the construction of a logistics center in Brazil and Huawei, who signed a deal for the creation of an R&D center in Brazil focused on mobile, cloud, big data and cybersecurity.