Baidu expands mapping service

Source: theworldofchinese.com

Baidu officially launched its travel mapping app, Baidu Map, for outbound Chinese tourists. Baidu Map is available in Mandarin Chinese and Thai. It offers maps of Thailand’s tourist attractions, restaurants and hotels for a combined 17,000 places.

“Thailand is a strategic country as it is the most popular for Chinese travelers,” said Richard Lee, Director of the International Business Development department at Baidu Inc. TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn comments,

The number of Chinese tourists visiting Thailand is expected to reach 10 million this year, an increase from 8 million in 2015 generating 509 billion baht in revenue, up 35%

Following the surge in mobile internet usage in Southeast Asia, Baidu is adapting its expansion strategy shifting from PC-based to mobile-based services. Using Chinese tourists in Thailand as leverage, Baidu is stepping into Southeast Asia’s promising market.

Baidu Map has more than 500 million active users around the world and global searches on Baidu, the most popular search engine in China, number 10 billion a day.

Mr Lee said Baidu has 7 million monthly active users in Thailand after its inception four years ago and the company has already introduced six local mobile apps in Thailand.

In the longer term, Baidu plans to roll out its mapping service in 18 countries in Asia Pacific by tapping into the growing mapping demand from Chinese tourists traveling overseas.

A version of this appeared in Bangkok Post on June 14. Read the full article here