#118: 百度

如果你是个经常上网的人,你的生活很可能离不开搜索引擎。在中国最流行的搜索引擎是百度。许多人打开浏览器后,第一步就是访问百度的网站。“百度”这个名称,来自中国一首古诗里的诗句:“众里寻他千百度,那人却在灯火阑珊处”。这句话的意思是,经过了很多次的寻找,终于在灯光阴暗的地方,找到了那个人。

百度的创始人李彦宏和徐勇,曾经是美国硅谷的一家搜索引擎公司的员工。2000年,他们辞去美国的工作,回到中国,在北京的中关村成立了百度公司,创建了这个中文搜索引擎。慢慢地,百度就发展成了在中国使用人数最多的网站,也是在全球使用人数最多的中文网站。2010年,由于谷歌公司和中国政府之间的纠纷,谷歌撤出了中国市场。这对于百度来说,意味着更大的发展机遇。有人说,百度的成功秘诀,在于百度更听从中国政府的规定,从而获得了政府更多的支持。也有人说,百度的成功,在于它更了解中国用户的上网习惯。

百度的使用方法和谷歌差不多,输入你想要搜索的关键词,就可以得到成千上万条网页信息。除了网页搜索,百度还有图片搜索、视频搜索、音乐搜索、词典、文档搜索等搜索功能。另外,百度还设计了百度地图、百度贴吧、百度空间、百度知道、百度云网盘等等多种多样的功能。和谷歌一样,百度也是通过广告来盈利的。百度的标语是:百度一下,你就知道。所以,不管有什么疑问,你都可以尝试着“百度一下”。

If you’re someone that often uses the internet then it’s quite possible that your life and some internet search engine are inseparable. The most popular seach engine in China is Baidu. After opening up their web browser, the first step for many people is to visit the Baidu home page. The name Baidu comes from a verse of an ancient Chinese poem: ‘Having searched for her hundreds and thousands of times in the crowd, I suddenly turned my head, and there she was, standing at the far end of the street where the candlelight was dimmest’. The meaning of this sentence is: the person was finally found in a spot with dim light. (1)

The founders of Baidu, Li Yanhong and Xu Yong used to be employees in an internet search engine company in Silicon Valley. In 2000 they resigned from their job in America and returned to China and in Zhongguancun in Beijing they set up Baidu and thus this Chinese search engine was established. Baidu slowly grew into the website in China with the most number of users and globally it is the Chinese language website with the most number of users. In 2010, due to a dispute between Google and the Chinese government, Google withdrew from the Chinese market which meant even more opportunity for growth for Baidu. Someone has said that the secret to Baidu’s success lies in the extent to which Baidu complies with government regulations thus it has received even more support. Others say that the success of Baidu lies in the fact that it better undstands the internet habits of users in China.

The way of using Baidu and Google are much the same; you input keywords for what you are seaching for then you will receive information on websites by the thousands and hundreds of thousands. Apart from searching for websites Baidu also has image search, video search, music search, a dictionary, file search and other search capabilities. In addition Baidu has also set up Baidu maps, a Baidu web forum, Baidu ‘space’, Baidu ‘knowledge’, Baidu ‘cloud storage’ etc. with all kinds of capabilities. Just like Google, Baidu also makes profits through advertising. Baidu’s motto is: Baidu it then you’ll know. So no matter what the question give Baidu a go.

1. This explanation of the line from the poem seems strange in English but one must remember that the original poem was in classical Chinese and as such would probably need a fair bit of annotating to be understood by normal Chinese speakers.

by Robert Budzul

6 Comments

  • Thank you, very useful article. However, while in China I tried Baidu, looking up Ai Wei Wei and it painted a very black picture of the man, parroting government propaganda. It would seem that Baidu is simply a money-making venture, not a genuine search engine.

  • cris

    You guys rock! Thanks so much for this great learning tool

  • Nicole

    百度 is one of my new favourites on here. I keep coming back to this one because it's at my level, which is more like upper itermediate and not as long and advanced as most others. The topic is so interesting and currently relevant. Thank you creators of this for the cultural insights. I'm happy to support this with actual money to buy actual pdf/pinyin transcripts. They are very helpful. Thank you!

  • 畢逢凱

    。。。千百度
    蓦然回首
    那人。。。

  • Andrew

    谢谢,关于电脑的词,我学了很多东西!!