Google Plans Acquisitions, Alliances, Social Network In China – Report

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has plans to buy up and partner with companies to keep apace with Baidu, according to various reports. IDG: “Over the next year, Google will acquire one or two companies in China, and invest in four to five companies,” Google’s China president Kai-Fu Lee is quoted as saying by Chinese websites. Alliances and cooperation are also on the cards, according to Lee, with Google aiming to “accelerate” its activities.

IHT: “The number of Chinese consumers searching for information on their cellphones may surpass those visiting Web sites on computers by 2009 and the shift could help Google catch up with Baidu, its rival, Google’s president for China, Lee Kaifu, said in an interview Wednesday. The company also plans to start social-networking services in China similar to the popular MySpace Web site, owned by News Corp., or Facebook, Lee said. Google may form partnerships or buy local companies to reach that goal, he said.”

According to Beijing-based Analysis International, Baidu enjoyed a leading 58.1 percent share of the Chinese search market in Q2, ahead of Google’s 22.8 percent and Yahoo’s 11.6 percent. Search revenue was RMB 657.5 million yen ($86.5 million) in the same period. Google already has a partnership to place search and advertising with the Sina, Soso and portals, all potential candidates.