Shak says Chinese search engine Baidu is getting ready to go public.
Google owns 4% and may want the rest of the company, although the WebmasterWorld thread points to Baidu in a rather negative light. Interesting to get a glimpse of how search users around the globe think of different competing services. At the end of the day it is all about money though. Does Baidu have technology and marketshare worth far more than their price?
The WebmasterWorld thread also points at this article, which states:
According to sources, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google who just concluded his visit to China, said recently Google would enter China's market this year, and how it enters the market would depend on its talks with Baidu.
There are two options for Google, said Schmidt. One is that Google holds shares of Baidu and the other is that both sides deepen cooperation, and Google would hold more Baidu's stakes or even set up a joint venture. This may lead to Google's takeover of Baidu, turning Baidu into its subsidiary in China.
It is not uncommon for firms to go public to raise buyout bids. Paypal.com did it not too long ago before being bought out by eBay. Incidentally Paypal is opening up shop in China soon:
PayPal China will offer payments in the local currency through 15 Chinese banks and more than 20 different debit cards. The company also will offer buyer protection on EachNet, an e-commerce firm acquired by eBay in 2002.
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