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Baidu sets up shop in Australia

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China’s Google killer Baidu has set up shop in Australia as it moves on an aggressive international expansion drive.

Baidu, a JV with China Search International, is China's biggest search engine with over 429 million users and is actively ramping up its global ambitions.

The Sydney based office is being run by former Telstra executive Paul Christy who has been appointed GM and former NineMSN executive Dean Capobianco is on board in an advisory role working with the international executive team.

Last year, Baidu International opened regional headquarters in Singapore and currently has offices in Hong Kong, Taiwan, London and San Francisco. All international offices, including Sydney, will report to Singapore and further destinations are set to be announced in the next quarter.

Baidu is also investing in a research center in South East Asia and is expected to be rolling out new products and services to launch into the new international markets.

The Chinese search giant has had mixed fortunes in trying to expand its business outside if the core search and advertising model. Last year it shut down ecommerce platform Youa and its attempt to launch a Twitter killer Shuoba, also failed and was wound down in August.

Singapore HQ is headed up by Richard Huggins , international executive director and Fionn Hyndman, the former MD of DGM Australia .

While Baidu is under no threat of losing it domestic dominance in the Chinese search market, rivals Alibaba Group and Sohu.com Inc's Sogou are competing aggressively for online advertising dollars.

In Q1, Baidu had 30.9 percent of the online advertising market while Alibaba had 17.9 percent. In just the search market, Baidu had 78.5 percent of the market while Google had 16.6 percent. ®

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