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Microsoft and Alibaba Launch ‘Etao” Chinese Search Site

Microsoft and Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group are testing a new search service that could offer Chinese users an alternative to major player Baidu and struggling Google, according to Associated Press. “A beta of new “Etao” search site came online this past weekend teaming up Alibaba’s e-commerce search engine with a Chinese-language edition of Microsoft’s Bing search engine.”

The new site joins the search engines on Alibaba’s current e-commerce sites Taobao.com and Alibaba.com and has been set up to drive people to the Alibaba.com online retail store, according to Wall Street Journal.

Etao will face competition in Chinese’s growing search engine market. As the dominant search engine, Baidu owns around 70% of the market. Google’s share in China has slowly dwindled as the company moved its operations to Hong Kong as a way to get past Chinese censorship regulations. But Google’s search engine is still available in mainland China where it holds a 24% market share in the country.

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