By Vikas Shukla
Chinese Internet giant Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU) announced Thursday that it has launched its Portuguese-language search engine in Brazil. The company has named its Brazilian search engine "Baidu Busca." Currently, it covers web, video and image searches along with a localized version of Postbar trending forum feature.
Baidu's Brazilian version will have some advanced features
Brazil is Baidu's second market outside China. The Beijing-based company has already launched its search engine in Japan, where it is still struggling to gain traction. Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) still dominates Japanese Internet search market with 56% market share. Baidu founder Robin Li was in Brasilia on Thursday to launch the service.
Baidu spokesman Kaiser Kuo told the South China Morning Post that the Brazilian version of the company's search engine will have several features that are still not available on the Chinese version. That includes a smart searchbox that predicts queries while typing, some interactive elements that let users "like" their favorite celebrities and athletes, and an open content platform with local partners.
Baidu hasn't set any specific targets for its Brazilian search engine yet. But the company said that it will focus on more local development. most of Baidu Busca was developed in Beijing. Baidu is currently in talks with Brazilian universities to improve the technology. The company also plans to open an R&D center in Brazil dedicated to Big Data and improving user experience in a localized way.
Baidu will soon launch Thai and Arabic search engines
The Beijing-based company said it would also launch Thai and Arabic versions of its search engine in the "not-too-distant future." Three localized search engines of Baidu for Thailand, Brazil and Egypt, were spotted when the sites went live temporarily in January as part of internal testing. The company has been increasing its presence in Brazil, Thailand, Egypt, Indonesia and Vietnam since 2012. Baidu has opened offices in each of those countries and launch products like mobile browser and a PC antivirus app.