Baidu maps out a global ex­pan­sion

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By ZHU WENQIAN zhuwen­qian@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Baidu Map, a desk­top and mo­bile map ser­vice pro­vided by China’s on­line search gi­ant Baidu Inc, is set to be­come a world map­ping ser­vice provider cov­er­ing more than 150 coun­tries and re­gions.

On Wed­nes­day, the com­pany will launch its map ser­vices for more coun­tries and re­gions. The new map ser­vices will cover coun­tries in Asia, Europe, Africa, North Amer­ica, South Amer­ica and Ocea­nia, and pro­vide ser­vices for 99 per­cent of the world pop­u­la­tion.

“This sig­nals that we will fi­nally trans­form from a Chi­nese map provider to a world map provider and be­come the Chi­nese brand that pro­vides global ser­vices for mo­bile travel ap­pli­ca­tions,” said Li Dong­min, gen­eral man­ager of Baidu Map.

Cur­rently, Baidu Map claims that it ac­counts for about 70 per­cent of do­mes­tic mar­ket share, with more than 300 mil­lion ac­tive monthly users and about 100 mil­lion car own­ers us­ing its map­ping ser­vice.

At the begin­ning of the year, Baidu Map ini­ti­ated its in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion strate­gies and has been ex­pand­ing rapidly glob­ally.

On Mon­day, Baidu Map started strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion with the tourist ad­min­is­tra­tions of four north­ern Euro­pean coun­tries — Den­mark, Fin­land, Nor­way and Swe­den. The two sides will ex­change data, share re­sources, and jointly de­velop more events to im­prove the trav­el­ing ex­pe­ri­ences of Chi­nese vis­i­tors.

“The co­op­er­a­tion sig­nals a fur­ther step for­ward in the lo­cal­iza­tion of Baidu Map in the course of its in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion, fol­low­ing our co­op­er­a­tion with the tourist ad­min­is­tra­tions of South Korea and Thai­land,” Li said.

In the first half of 2016, Chi­nese peo­ple made 59.03 mil­lion trips abroad, up 4.3 per­cent year-on-year, ac­cord­ing to the China Na­tional Tourism Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Baidu Map said it has cov­ered 25 per­cent of Chi­nese out­bound tourists and by 2020 ex­pects verseas users will ac­count for half of the to­tal.

“We will strengthen in-depth co­op­er­a­tion with over­seas gov­ern­ments and lead­ing en­ter­prises and choose some key coun­tries to pro­vide map­ping ser­vices in lo­cal lan­guages and in­crease our lo­cal im­pact,” Li said.

ZHAO CHANGJUN / XIN­HUA

A Chi­nese visi­tor buys Santa Claus gifts in Ro­vaniemi, Fin­land. Baidu Map is ex­pand­ing into Nordic coun­tries to help Chi­nese trav­el­ers.

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