The results from Baidu are currently primarily in Chinese. That includes search queries that users type in English. For example, typing in “Last.fm” will deliver search results in Chinese, even if the link in the search results points to the English version of Last.fm.
The new deal will give Microsoft a foothold in China, where it has a very small portion of the search engine market share. Google was the former largest U.S.-based search engine in China, but the company pulled out of the country. That has left Baidu virtually unchallenged by an American search provider in one of the largest markets in the world.
Google has a rocky relationship with China. The search giant sparred with the country over censorship concerns in January last year. That caused Google to drop its Chinese search website, Google.cn, and redirect users to its Hong Kong-based search website. Google also said the Chinese government was meddling with the Gmail accounts of some users earlier this year.
Baidu is the dominant search engine in China. The company’s chief executive officer Robin Li said 99 percent of China’s 420 million people surfing the Internet use Baidu over other search engines.