Something Borrowed… Chinese companies succeed by taking an existing technology and then tweaking it for a local audience

December 2, 2009 at 8:00 am

BEIJING—Baidu Inc., owner of the most popular Web site in China, isn’t known for ground-breaking innovation. From the Google-esque look of’s main page to its Wikipedia-like encyclopedia to a question-and-answer service that’s similar to Yahoo Answers, the Chinese Internet search company has long been tarred by critics as unoriginal.

But Baidu also is an example of how many Chinese technology companies manage to outfox foreign competitors by tailoring existing technologies to China’s growing and fast-changing market. While that may not earn them respect as global innovators, their understanding of the Chinese consumer has allowed many of them to beat bigger foreign rivals at their own game in China, home to the world’s largest number of Internet users.

Baidu dominates China’s Internet search market, holding a 61% share of industry revenue in the second quarter, compared with 29% for Google Inc., its biggest Internet-search competitor.(By LORETTA CHAO, The Wall Street Journal, NOVEMBER 16, 2009)

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Entry filed under: Asia, Business Cases, Business Development, China, Global Business, marketing, NKITA, Strategy, web 2.0.

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