Baidu Beefs Up Development of Livestreaming and Short-Video Services

Chinese internet search giant Baidu Inc. has pledged to plow massive resources into its short-video and livestreaming businesses, in a bid to gain a larger share of a sector dominated by ByteDance and Kuaishou.

Baidu will earmark 500 million yuan ($70 million) to grow its user base and cultivate “excellent” livestreamers, Shen Dou, a company vice president announced Wednesday in an online company conference. With respect to short video, Baidu would offer creators traffic support by making their services more accessible to users within its ecosystem, the company has said.

In both livestreaming and short videos, Baidu, whose services center around their internet search engine, has been trailing its two larger rivals – ByteDance, the operator of international hit app TikTok, and Kuaishou. In livestreaming, especially, Baidu has nearly all but missed the trend.

However, Ping Xiaoli, another executive at Baidu,  sees a good chance for Baidu to enter the sector even at this stage. He argued that the emergence of new demand from consumers for livestreaming service gives Baidu a good opportunity to develop its livestreaming business. “Previously, consumers used livestreaming mainly to watch others play games and perform shows,” Ping said, “but since this year we’ve increasingly seen people use livestreaming for a lot of other purposes such as learning,”

Shen Dou said Baidu can differentiate its livestreaming service by meeting the needs of new consumers and by targeting consumers using its search engine services.


– This article originally appeared on Caixin Global.