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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