• LOGIN
  • No products in the cart.

Baidu: searching for the next big thing

百度:搜索下个互联网大猎物.jpg


Baidu’s dominance of the market for search-related advertising in China has remained unchallenged since its American counterpart quit the country a few years ago, rather than put up with official censorship. For a while, Baidu simply milked its strong position in its home market. But more recently the shift from computers to smartphones, and thus to searching via apps rather than browsers, has forced the Chinese firm to get serious about innovation. Another factor is its desire to keep up with two other rapidly growing online firms, Alibaba and Tencent.

几年前谷歌退出中国后,百度在中国搜索广告市场的霸主地位,并没有因为官方的审查制度而改变。一段时间之后,百度就强势跻身国内市场。但是近期,市场从电脑到智能手机,从浏览器搜索到应用软件搜索的转变,迫使中国公司严肃对待产品创新。另一个原因是,百度希望能与阿里巴巴和腾讯这两个迅速增长的在线企业同步。

Baidu has been doing a lot of inventing in-house. Its researchers have devised excellent voice-recognition systems for Mandarin, for example. Its mapping app is arguably the best in China. It has invented smart chopsticks that give warnings when food is unsafe to eat. It has its own version of Google’s smart spectacles; and a bicycle that monitors the rider’s vital signs. And Baidu recently opened a research centre in Silicon Valley headed by Andrew Ng, a pioneering researcher in artificial intelligence.

百度业已开发了不少内部创新产品。其研发人员设计出卓越的普通话声音识别系统;可以辨别食物安全并发出警告的智能筷搜;具有自身特色的智能眼镜;能够监测生命体征的自行车。最近,由人工智能的先驱研究员安德鲁·吴领导,百度在硅谷开办了研究中心。

Even more intriguing are its investments in outside innovators. In early December the firm put $3m into Pixellot, an Israeli firm making software that enhances online videos. It has also put money into a Finnish firm developing a way to tap the Earth’s natural magnetism to create better indoor maps of such places as shopping centres. And on December 17th Baidu announced that it would invest an undisclosed amount in Uber, an American taxi-app service that is now expanding across China.

更耐人寻味的是其在境外的创新投资。12月初,百度公司向以色列视频捕捉技术公司Pixellot投资300万美元。百度还投资了一家芬兰公司,这家公司利用地球磁场进行室内导航。12月17日,百度宣布其将投资Uber,但暂未透露投资金额。Uber是目前在中国颇为流行的美国打车软件。

Uber may seem an odd firm to invest in just now, given the backlash it is suffering, from Australia to India to France, over its pricing policies, its screening of drivers and its flouting of local regulations. But Baidu has seen its two Chinese online rivals move swiftly into taxi apps, seeing them as a way to push consumers towards other, more lucrative businesses such as mobile payments. The Tencent-backed Didi Dache app and Alibaba-backed Kuaidi Dache have established a near-duopoly in taxi-hailing by smartphone across China.

鉴于Uber最近麻烦缠身,从遭澳大利亚政府打击,到印度司机强奸案,再到遭法国地方抵制,现阶段投资Uber似乎有点奇怪。但是因为中国两大在线竞争对手转向打车软件,这是百度赢得消费者的大好时机,因此打车软件是个有利可图的移动支付业务。腾讯开发的滴滴打车软件和阿里巴巴开发的快的打车软件通过智能手机平台,几乎将中国的打车行业一分为二。

Sensibly, rather than join Tencent and Alibaba in their price war at the bottom end of the Chinese taxi market, Uber is offering pricier rides in comfier cars. In welcoming Baidu as a shareholder, Uber gains a backer with valuable local knowledge and a degree of insurance against the sort of official clampdown it is suffering in other countries. Baidu’s chairman and co-founder, Robin Li, has excellent connections within the Communist Party leadership. He has so far avoided investing in businesses that test regulatory boundaries. So perhaps his investment in Uber is a sign that he has received a quiet signal from officialdom that it is not at risk of being shut down.

很明显,与腾讯和阿里巴巴狂打价格战不同,Uber则是给消费者提供更加舒适豪华的车辆。有了百度作为其股东,Uber如同有了靠山,因为百度可以为其提供有价值的地方知识,与在其他国家不同,百度还可以保证其在某些程度上可以不受到官方限制。百度董事长兼合作创始人,李彦宏与中国共产党领导人关系良好。迄今为止,他一直避开投资那些受到监管的项目。因此,他投资Uber或许是因为他收到了官方发出安全的信号。

2016-06-23

0 responses on "Baidu: searching for the next big thing"

    Leave a Message

    Copyright ©right 2017 Chinlingo Inc. All rights reserved.  闽ICP备15003609号-2