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Baidu to launch map service in over 150 countries

Baidu Map, mapping service

Search engine giant Baidu Inc is gearing up to take its mapping services beyond borders with an ambitious goal to have 50 percent of its map users coming from outside of China by 2020.

搜索引擎公司百度正在加速其地图服务在海外市场的开拓,并预计在2020年前实现50%用户来自除中国以外的其它地区的远大目标。

The Beijing-based internet company said that it will launch Baidu Map in more than 150 countries and regions by the end 2016 with an initial plan to serve the navigation demand of China's more than 100 million outbound travelers.

这家位于北京的互联网公司称,初步计划预计在2016年底启动,将满足中国接近一亿人次的海外旅游导航需求,公司将在全球150多个国家和地区上线百度地图服务。

"Then we will gradually launch mapping services in local languages and gain overseas users.The ultimate goal is to build Baidu Map into a truly globalized mapping service provider," said Li Dongmin, general manager of Baidu Map.

百度地图事业部总经理李东旻称:"接下来将逐步推进语言当地化和海外用户增长,最终将百度地图打造成为一款全球的地图服务产品。"

The internationalization plan puts Baidu Map, which has more than 300 million monthly active users in China, in direct competition with the top global mapping service provider, Google Map. Baidu Map, which started to offer overseas services in 2014, has already expanded to 18 countries and regions, mostly in Asia Pacific, such as Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Singapore. Baidu said the surging demand from Chinese outbound travelers is the main reason for it to speed up the expansion plan.

在中国已经拥有3亿用户的百度地图,接下来的国际化战略将使其与世界顶级地图服务产品谷歌地图形成直接竞争。在2014年就开启海外战略的百度地图目前已经扩展到18个国家和地区,绝大部分集中在亚太地区,如日本、韩国、泰国和新加坡等。百度方面称,中国赴海外游客的增加产生的强烈需求是百度加快其全球扩张计划的主要原因。

"I have to say the requests for our mapping services are beyond our expectation," said Li,adding the company doesn't put a cap on the resources on its globalization plan.

李东旻表示:"不得不提的是客户对于地图服务的需求远远超出了我们的期望。"并且他还表示,公司对于百度地图全球化战略的投入将不设上限。

Statistics from the China National Tourism Administration showed that Chinese travelers made 120 million outbound trips in 2015, the world's most. About 80 million of the trips were made by self-guided individual travelers, suggesting major demand for mobile mapping services. Zhang Xu, who is in charge of transportation-related research at the internet consultancy Analysys International, said that it wouldn't be too difficult for Baidu to convert some of its existing Chinese users into users of its services overseas.

根据国家旅游局发布的数据,2015年中国游客赴海外旅游的人次达1.2亿,是全球最多的国家,其中约有8000万人次为自助游,由此表明市场对于移动地图服务的巨大需求。在国际互联网分析中心负责交通相关业务的张旭表示,对于百度来说,将现有的国内用户转变成为其海外服务的用户并不是十分困难。

"With the number of Chinese outbound travelers keeps rising, an increasing number of them would want to use a mapping service they're already familiar with and comfortable to use in China," he said.

他说:"随着中国游客赴海外旅游的不断增加,越来越多的用户希望使用他们已经在国内熟悉并适应的地图服务。"

To compete with other mapping services in overseas markets, Baidu said it is working to integrate more local services, such as restaurant booking and ride hailing into the mapping service, just like it does in China.But Zhang of Analysys International said people in other countries treat mapping services as a simple tool to help them navigate from A to B."The success of Baidu Map depends on how it educate overseas users," he said.

为了同其它地图产品进行竞争,百度称将加大与当地服务商的合作力度,比如借鉴在中国的经验,在地图服务的基础上增加酒店预订、打车服务等。但据张旭称:"在其它国家地图服务只是帮助人们从A地到B地的简单工具而已,百度地图能否成功还要看其如何培养海外用户的使用习惯。"

2016-06-22

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