Aug. 8 (NBD) -- Baidu has confidence to win the battle with Google if the American search giant decides to come back, Robin Li, CEO of Chinese search engine titan Baidu, said on his WeChat account in response to news of Google's coming back released last week.

Li also noted that Chinese enterprises are strong and confident to compete with international counterparts.

U.S. online news publication The Intercept reported on August 1 that Google is preparing to launch a censored version of the search engine on mainland China within 6 to 9 months and the company has made a customized Android app. 

Shares of Baidu dived 7.73 percent as the news came. 

However the news was confirmed to be fake. 

China's state media People's Daily posted a comment on Facebook and Twitter on Monday, which was deleted later, saying that Google is welcome to return to mainland China but it must comply with local laws. 

This not the first time that Google was reported to send signals for its return to Chinese market.

In November 2015, Wall Street Journal reported Google's plan to introduce its digital distribution service Google Play to mainland China, but there is no progress since then.

In January of this year, Google led an investment in the live-streaming mobile game platform Chushou with the total funding of 120 million U.S. dollars and joined another 15 million U.S. dollars investment in artificial intelligence (AI) pharmaceutical firm XtalPi.

In addition, the search engine giant is in talks with technology behemoth Tencent Holdings, Inspur Group and other companies to offer its cloud service in China's mainland. 

Beijing-based Baidu, which now dominates Chinese search engine market, is regarded as the biggest beneficiary of Google's exit from Chinese market since 2010. 

According to statistics from web analytics service provider StatCounter, Baidu grabbed 73.84 percent of the market share in July this year.

In the global market, Google still leads the industry with a global market share of 90.48 percent, far more than Baidu's 1.95 percent.

Li held that Google started to provide search service in Chinese market in 2000, which is earlier than Baidu and made further input in 2005. However, Baidu's market share had already surged to over 70 percent in 2010 when Google decided to quite China market. 

Besides, Ge Jia, an internet analyst, pointed out that after 8 years of Google's absence in Chinese market, China now has several search service providers including 360, Sougou, WeChat and Toutiao. Google search's coming back to the market may lead to heavy financial burden to the company as Baidu spends more than 1 billion yuan (146.4 million U.S. dollars) purchasing traffic every year.

 

Email: zhanglingxiao@nbd.com.cn