Baidu Maps, China’s popular mobile map service is all set to become world’s best mapping app with its expansion. Today, Baidu sketched out its plans for international expansion with the launch of its mapping service to 106 new countries and regions. These include Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America and Oceania.
Current statistic report 70 percent of domestic market share (China) is under Baidu. Further, it has an active user base of more than 300 million. With the internationalization strategy that had been initialized at the beginning of this year, China’s search giant has been rapidly expanding its reach.
Further, Baidu Maps have initiated a strategic co-operation with the tourist administrations of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. It will lead to a better travel experience of Baidu users and ease in sharing resources and data with these countries.
Li Dongmin, General Manager of Baidu Maps, remarks on the cooperation as:
The cooperation signals a further step forward in the localization of Baidu Map in the course of its internationalization, following our cooperation with the tourist administrations of South Korea and Thailand.
The expansion of Baidu Maps has been planned after seeing the steady growth in Chinese tourism industry. According to surveys, there is a 4.3 percent growth of the same every year. Besides 59.03 million trips abroad have been journeyed by Chinese people, according to China National Tourism Administration. China’s tourism is about double of U.S. and consumer expenditure on tourism figures out to be $137 billion last year.
With this expansion, it is predictable that local tourist boards would be interested in partnership with Baidu Maps. The aim of this service is to have 50 % overseas users by the end of 2020. It will also release user reviews and information about festivities, local interest points and peak travel seasons in the coming months.
This signals that we will finally transform from a Chinese map provider to a world map provider and become the Chinese brand that provides global services for mobile travel applications,
added Li Dongmin in his statement.
The release of the mapping service by the search giant across the globe will also pit it against prominent (and dominating) players including the likes of Google Maps, Here Maps, and Apple Maps. Other local mapping companies and startups might suffer at the hands of Baidu Maps – a service used extensively in the most populated country on the planet. We’ll have to wait and witness this expansion bear fruit in the coming months.