CHINA TOPIX

Updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

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Baidu Maps Expand Overseas

China expands network to four neighboring countries

(Photo : YouTube Screenshot) China's web service company Baidu has expanded its mapping service network to neighboring countries including Japan, Thailand, South Korea and Singapore to cater for Chinese outbound tourists.

Chinese web services company Baidu is expanding its mapping service platform outside China to address the increasing demand of Chinese tourists going out of the country.

A representative from the company said the company has launched both desktop and mobile mapping services in several neighboring nations including South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Japan, hoping Chinese travelers would stop patronizing Google Inc. mapping application, according to China Daily.

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According to the company's spokesperson, these four nations welcome the most number of Chinese tourists yearly. The service has been launched in time with the Spring Festival, which will commence on Feb. 8, to assess and evaluate users' reactions and use.

During the Spring Festival, approximately 6 million Chinese tourists are anticipated to travel overseas with the four countries mentioned earlier among their top 10 destinations, according to Ctrip.com International Ltd., the biggest online travel agency in China.

Using Baidu's new service, tourists can plan their routes and destinations ahead. Furthermore, added services like navigation and local restaurant booking are expected.

Analyst Zhang Xu, from Analysys International in Beijing, believes that Baidu will nail the launching and poach Chinese Google users. He further said that most of the tourists from the mainland have been utilizing Baidu map when at home. If the service become available in other nations, Zhang believes it will surely become the first option, as it offers a Chinese language version for those who cannot speak English.

Currently, Baidu accounts for 70 percent of the mapping service market in the country, sporting about 300 million active users per month. Zhang further said Baidu still has a lot of things to do to compete with Google, particularly the maps' accuracy.

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