For example, if users search for on 360's new search service and click on the first response -- ostensibly a direct link to "Baidu Knows" -- they are instead taken to . But attempting to search for a question or clicking anything on that page results in users being directed to the Baidu homepage. Qihoo's response may boost its own pageviews in the sort term, but in the longer term it strikes me as another win for Baidu. It certainly doesn't prevent users from accessing Baidu's services -- and Qihoo doesn't have services of its own to compete with many of Baidu's products -- but it does slow them down and make the search process annoyingly long if one wants answers from Baidu via the 360 search. I suspect that if this remains the status quo, 360 users who like some of Baidu's products are likely to switch back to Baidu for search because they don't have to bother with the intermediary steps of loading a cached copy of the page they wanted and then having to start all over again at the Baidu homepage whenever they want to click a link. This fight seems to be getting ugly, and it's not the only one. China's tech industry seems to be . It will be interesting to see who survives. But if this evening's moves are any indication, neither Baidu nor 360 intends to go out without a fight. [Sina Tech via ]
and have been since Qihoo launched a a few weeks ago. Now, in the middle of the night, it seems Baidu has struck a blow in its defense: clicking on any Baidu products in 360 search results (for example, its "Baidu Knows" answer service, its "talk bar" BBS forums, its Baike encyclopedia, etc.) results in the user being taken directly to the Baidu homepage. But Qihoo has responded almost immediately. Now all links on its search service to Baidu products take users to a Qihoo 360 cached copy of the page. Attempting to use the service from that page, though, still results in users being redirected to Baidu's homepage.
For years, Baidu really was better able to parse sentences in Chinese. Baidu also put more sales people on the ground to talk to advertisers, and demonstrated a better grasp of Chinese tastes. Baidu's home page has 11 links, in underlined blue, to various services such as Baidu Knows, a Q&A service; Baidu Post-Bar, a popular bulletin board; and Baidu Encyclopedia, a made-in-China alternative to Wikipedia. Like Google, Baidu is a verb: To search, users click on a box that says "Baidu It." "Robin took the best of everything that was happening in the U.S. at the time and added Chinese characteristics," says U.S. venture capitalist Tim Draper.
Google may have lost its battle with the Chinese government, but it was defeated first in the marketplace. Li says his original impulse when facing off against American competitors was to downplay Baidu's heritage as a Chinese company, because "in most consumer's minds, Chinese products are low quality." But in a widely televised ad campaign that referenced a popular Hong Kong film, Google was depicted as a clueless Caucasian who could only interpret a complex Chinese sentence in a single way. A scholar representing Baidu handles the sentence correctly; the Google character ends up spitting blood. "It was the easiest way to tell them Baidu knows Chinese better," Li says of the ad.