Leading Chinese language search firm Baidu has launched a Japanese language version of its search engine.
Baidu announced its intentions to enter the Japanese search market in December 2006 and began server testing in Japan in March 2007.
"Japan is one of the world's most connected societies, and we have already seen a positive reception from local users using our beta website," said Masuda Jun, vice president of Baidu's Japanese subsidiary.
"Following the formal launch of our Japan site, we expect to see even greater user reception to the four different Japanese language services we will offer, including web search, image search, video search and blog search."
Independent market surveys put Baidu's share of the overall China search market at over 60 per cent, compared to less than 30 per cent for Google China.
But independently gathered data on search behaviour in the country is not widely available.
Baidu launched a video search service at the beginning of 2007, and claims that more than nine out of 10 video searches in China use its service.
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