Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Baidu books

We were interested to note, at the end of a detailed post on China Web 2.0 Review about Baidu's new video search service, a brief reference to a books search function. It says:

Donews also reported [PW: in Chinese only] that Baidu is to launch book search after Chinese Spring Festival. If this is possible, we don’t think the product will be like Google Book Search, which provides full viewable content, instead it will be like other vertical search engines to be an aggregator of online book stores.

We're not sure on what basis this speculation is grounded although Luyi Chen is pretty reliable on this blog. Given the issues with IPR in China and surrouding Google books, along with Baidu's own run-in with the music industry, we can assume that they will be quite shy of challenging the book publishers too. That being said, there's clearly a mentality of "whatever Google can do in the US, we can do better in China" at Baidu and they're not likely to leave the Googlers to the book world all by themselves.

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