Chinese Internet search engine Baidu (BIDU) has announced that the company has completed adjustments to its e-commerce platform and it will now accept up to 10,000 applications for beta testers.
For customers who apply and get approval, Baidu's e-commerce platform will offer independent .CN domain names, free promotions and customized marketing activities to them. In addition, these customers will have rights to upload products, decorate their online shops and complete business certification before the opening of the platform, so as to make preparations for the opening of their shops. These moves appear to place it in competition with Chinese e-commerce heavyweight Alibaba.com, which solely focuses on online commerce.
Starting from October 2007, Baidu announced its expansion plan in the e-commerce sector and Li Yanhong, CEO of Baidu, said in the second quarter of 2008 that the company's e-commerce platform would be released before the end of the year 2008. As the launch of Baidu's investment activities around China, it has entered cities, including Beijing, Ningbo, Guangzhou, Nanjing and Wuhan, where the e-commerce development is relatively mature.
Li Mingyuan, general manager for the E-commerce Business Department of Baidu, says that the opening of the beta test is an extension of Baidu's investment activities. The company will do all the work strictly in accordance with its existing schedule and try to maintain the consistent good performance in its products.
Although the details of the e-commerce platform has not been released, Baidu said earlier that it will integrate its various resources, including search engine, community and Baidu Hi, to create an efficient one-stop shopping platform for online sellers and buyers.