Baidu.jp Launched

China’s largest Internet portal site Baidu.com Inc. revealed on Wednesday it had launched a Japanese-language version of its popular search engine, www.baidu.jp.

“Given the success we have already encountered after nearly one year of testing our beta site,” Baidu Chairman Robin Li was quoted by Kyodo News. “We are confident that we can provide a high-quality Japanese-language search engine.“

Baidu announced in December 2006 its plan to enter the Japanese search market and started server testing in Japan last year. The Chinese version of the portal complies to Chinese censorship rules, unlike the Japanese one. This has led to the Japanese version being banned in China.

Industry sources quoted by the same Kyodo News report say that attention is focused on how or whether Baidu will be able crack the dominance of the Japanese-language search market by Yahoo Inc. and Google Inc.