Sep 11, 2019 (China Knowledge) - ByteDance has completed the acquisition of Baike.com, an encyclopedia service provider and a formidable rival to Baidu’s similar service. The acquirer now holds 100% of Baike.com’s shares.
Baike.com launched in 2005, is the main rival for Baidu Baike. Since 2010, Google’s departure of China’s online search engine market, Baidu has maintained its market leadership.
The acquisition was valued at RMB 8.7 bln (USD 1.23 bln) and it will intensify the competition in the search business. By acquiring Baike.com, ByteDance may have taken the lead in terms of encyclopedia service against its competitor Baidu. However, it faces a great challenge as Baidu remains the biggest search engine in China with a market share of up to 70.3% as this Aug.
Baidu, with its own encyclopedia Baidu Baike works in pairs to provide service. The great difference between Google and Wikipedia is that Baidu and Baidu Baike work together and all the online search traffic is enclosed within its own ecosystem.
ByteDance has only begun to move into the field, with the launch of its own search engine called Toutiao Search in late July. However, the company’s relatively late entry in the sector does not mean ByteDance has little chance to challenge Baidu.
The key competition is the content pool and ecosystem for the search engines. This is also why ByteDance acquires an external source Baike.com instead of building one from scratch. It is considered the cheapest and quickest way to establish a pool of searchable content to emerge as a major search engine provider.
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