Discovery Explores China, Links With Baidu
Discovery Communications, the parent company of the Discovery Channel, and Chinese search engine Baidu have inked a deal to jointly produce a Web site focused on science, technology, space, natural history, engineering, paleontology, archaeology, history and culture.
The announcement was made by Ren Xuyang, VP of marketing and business Development, Baidu; and Tom Keaveny, EVP and managing director at Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific.
Discovery Networks International President and CEO Greg Ricca believes the deal with Baidu helps Discovery reach into a key market to give the company a stronger footprint in China.
The agreement expands Discovery's presence in China, where the company first began broadcasting in 1998 with several shows featuring content from across its networks. These include Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery Travel & Living, Discovery Home and Health and Discovery Science. Furthermore, Discovery Channel is available as a 24-hour channel in hotels and foreign compounds throughout China.
Baidu will take responsibility for the management of the Web site, dubbed discovery.baidu.com, while Discovery provides the content. Discovery will translate the custom content for the Chinese market, and advertising will support the site. Discovery and Baidu will share the revenue from third-party advertising sales. Both parties intend to continue developing projects together that will facilitate the sharing of knowledge and information, including in primary and middle schools throughout China.
The fastest-growing Chinese online platform, Baidu has already captured a 73.2% market share for search requests. In 2008, approximately 246 million users in China utilized search engines, with the total number of requests for Web page searches exceeding 150 billion. In 2009, it is estimated that the number of search engine users in China will exceed 300 million.