Due to the prevalence of English-language searches in China, a unique partnership has formed between the Chinese search giant Baidu and the American "decision engine" Bing. Baidu users searching for English terms will see a selection of English search results alongside Chinese results in their browsers, providing access to an additional layer of information.
Bilingual search results, still a relatively new technology, show how the quest for information on a global scale overcomes regional language barriers...or perhaps caters to an increasingly polylingual group of internet users who are comfortable searching in one or more languages.
The New York Times reports that this partnership will bolster the millions of English-language searches performed daily in China, giving Microsoft-supported Bing a boost over its rivals. One Chinese source agrees, saying that the partnership will provide Microsoft with 450 million internet users in China. Microsoft's Senior Vice President, Dr. Shen Xiang-Yang, is quoted in the article as saying
"In providing high-quality search results, Bing will allow users to make faster decisions. The cooperation between Bing and Baidu will enhance the search experience for Baidu users with better English results while simultaneously allowing Chinese users to enjoy the benefits of the...search experience."
While English still holds a majority of the worldwide searches, an increasingly global – and growing – community of internet users may change this. The agreement between Bing and Baidu may pave the way for similar global search partnerships.
Photo attribution: bfishadow
Translation of Yeboss.cn quote: Jon Ritzdorf