Baidu, China’s biggest Internet search-engine, plans to set up a research center in Singapore to accelerate development of Web services in Southeast Asia.
The facility, a venture between Baidu and Singapore’s Agency for Science and Technology Research, is an “important step in Baidu’s commitment to enhance its products in Southeast Asia,” the Chinese company said in an e-mailed statement today.
Baidu started services in Arabic and Thai last year as the Beijing-based company stepped up efforts to expand overseas, after overcoming competition from Google Inc. to dominate in China’s search-engine market. Chinese Internet rivals Tencent Holdings Ltd. (700) and Shanda Games Ltd. (GAME) have also acquired online assets in Southeast Asia to expand in the region.
Baidu will work with the Institute of Infocomm Research, an arm of the science agency, and will initially focus on research in technologies for services in Thai and Vietnamese, the company said.