Baidu to Start Japanese Search Service After One-Month Delay

Baidu.com Inc., operator of China’s most-used Internet search site, will introduce its Japanese- language service on Jan. 23, a month later than expected.

The start of the service was postponed to avoid the new year’s holiday in Japan and not because of any technical problems, Wei Fang, a spokesman for Baidu, said today by telephone. Chief Executive Officer Robin Li had said in October that the service would start by the end of 2007.

Baidu’s Japanese site will offer Web searches for videos, travel, and restaurant information in the company’s first effort to win users outside China, where its market share is more than double that of closest rival Google Inc. In Japan, Baidu will face competition from Yahoo! Japan Corp., which operates the nation’s most visited Web site, and Google.

The Beijing-based company opened a trial version of its Japan service in March that only let users search for Web sites and pictures.