Chinese search engine Baidu opened its first joint overseas laboratory, with Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research today.
China’s state news agency Xinhua said the new lab aims to enhance the products and services Baidu delivers in Southeast Asia. It will focus on developing advanced human language technology with an emphasis on Southeast Asian languages. The opening of the lab follows an agreement signed by Baidu and the Singapore governmental agency — which is also known as A*STAR.
The Baidu-Singapore lab reflects growing cooperation between Chinese firms and various governments and companies in Southeast Asia. China is carving out an economic beachhead in the region, exporting goods and making investments in local infrastructure and companies.
Xinhua says Baidu’s lab in Singapore will be equipped with state-of-the-art computing facilities and teams of top researchers and engineers.
Southeast Asia is home to millions of overseas Chinese that speak different Chinese dialects and who represent a potential market for Baidu. The lab is said to have already completed the first stage of a research project on Vietnamese and Thai language resources and processing.
Baidu has several projects under way in Southeast Asia as it aims to better understand the region’s markets. The projects include a social network called Baidu Tieba in Vietnam and a Web directory service in Thailand.
So they’re pretty much taking over Asia…yup, yup!