Amid much speculation on Google re-entering China's market, Baidu co-founder and CEO Robin Li said Tuesday on social media that if Google decides to return, Baidu is "very confident" that it will “win again” in another round of competition.
The tech giant Google introduced its search engine to China in 2000. The same year, Baidu was established and later became the second largest search service provider in the world. Because of the similarities in the primary services provided by the two companies, Baidu was initially referred to as the Chinese version of Google.
But it has grown to more than that, according to Li. He said that Baidu today is a company with great influence in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), with over 300 partners across the globe, including Google.
"Chinese tech companies today have the ability and confidence to take part in healthy global competition... In the new era of AI, Baidu is fully prepared to push technological boundaries and share the results of innovation with the world," Li added.
Li also tried to rectify a misunderstanding regarding Google’s exit from China in 2010.
"Google retreated as its market share continued to fall, and at that time, Baidu had taken up over 70 percent of the market."
Google's plan to come back to China was reported by media worldwide. It is said that the company is going to launch a "censored version of the search engine" along with its AI products or services. A drawing game based on that technology, which was popular on China's social media platform WeChat weeks ago, is seen as a roundabout tactic from Google.
However, so far, there has been no comment from Google, either on its return or on Li's words.