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April 1, 2011

Baidu to shutdown e-Commerce site Youa

To migrate existing merchants to other sites; says it is working on new platform

By CBR Staff Writer

China’s search engine Baidu is shutting down Youa, its e-Commerce subsidiary. It has asked its existing merchants to migrate to either Rakuten China or Yaodian 100 within a month.

The shutdown will take effect in May, Baidu said. However it also added that the move is not to be seen as drift away from e-Commerce. The company said that it is currently conducting research on building a new platform for e-Commerce.

Reuters quoted Baidu spokeswoman saying, "This should not be seen as Baidu withdrawing from the e-commerce scene. In fact, we are in research and development on a new e-commerce platform product which will suit users better."

Baidu said it will launch a new e-Commerce product, but has not given any date of release or descriptions of the product.

Last week, Baidu made two announcements regarding its websites. First, that it will remove 2.8 million pirated works from its website. Second, it will get anti-piracy technology for its websites.

Last month, in its annual report, the US Trade Representative’s office cited Baidu in a list of 33 websites or public markets in China, Russia, India and other countries that it deemed "notorious markets" linked to sales of pirated or fake goods.

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Baidu currently has a market share of about 70% of China’s search market.

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