Google Invests in Baidu.com

  |  June 15, 2004   |  Comments

Google buys a minority stake in a Chinese-language search firm.

Google has acquired a minority stake in Baidu.com, a Chinese-language search firm, expanding the U.S. search giant's reach overseas.

Google, which filed for an approximately $2.7 billion public offering in April, purchased a minority interest in the Chinese search engine. The investment was first reported last week.

Google would not disclose how much money was raised or other details of the investment. Baidu is China's biggest independent Internet search engine and has been one of Google's strongest rivals in China, according to media reports.

In the S-1 statement for Google's initial public offering, the firm notes, "Expansion into international markets is important to our long-term success, and our inexperience in the operation of our business outside the U.S. increases the risk that our international expansion efforts will not be successful."

Kevin Lee, CEO of search engine marketing firm Did-it.com, said of the investment, "I think it's a forward-thinking move on Google's part because they recognize that China and the Asian market are going to be an up-and-coming market. If there's already a brand that is relevant for that marketplace they can still hedge their bets while they build their own Chinese portal as well as having a stake in another branded portal."

A Google representative confirmed the investment but otherwise declined to comment.

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