Baidu Inc, China's biggest search engine, has joined with Yihaodian.com, an e-commerce website largely owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc, in a range of areas, including advertising, mobile e-commerce and data, the companies said.
The move came while Baidu is trying to explore ways to generate revenues outside it main revenue source -advertising based on its searched results.
The two companies plan to explore with Baidu Zhidao, a question-and-answer service, Baidu Image, Baidu Tieba, an online forum, and Baidu's mobile service. These services haven't presented a noticeable part of revenues for the company even though traffic on them is huge.
Robin Li, chairman and chief executive officer of Baidu, said earlier that the mobile sector is the future of the company but it will take a couple of years to properly monetize it despite surging traffic on mobile devices.
Yihaodian, in which Wal-Mart has a controlling stake, said its sales increased by 250 percent last year with about 30 million users, according to its chairman Yu Gang.
The website ranked a distant ninth in China's business-to-consumer market in the third quarter of 2012, having a 0.6 percent share, according to domestic research company Analysys International.
Tmall.com, owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, and 360buy.com were the biggest players in the market, jointly controlling 62.5 percent of the market in that quarter.
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