Often referred to as ‘Google of China’, Baidu collaborates with HERE for global expansion.
HERE, the open location platform company, which is owned by BMW, Audi and Daimler will provide map content for Baidu Maps outside of China to support its recent expansion of coverage to Europe and the rest of the world.
HERE has already powered Baidu Maps’ desktop and mobile services in South East Asia outside of China for the last two years. Now they have extended to more than 150 countries ─ covering countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America and Oceania, and provide services for 99 percent of the world population.
HERE has mapped around 200 countries and makes millions of changes to its map every day using data collected from vehicles, cartographers, and tens of thousands of other sources.
The announcement comes three months after Baidu announced significant expansion plans for Baidu Maps.
Li Dongmin, General Manager of Baidu Maps said, “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.”
Baidu has a market covers of $61 billion (£51 billion). Its mapping operation, Baidu Maps accounts for about 70 percent of domestic market share and about 100 million car owners use its mapping service. It competes with Google Maps and Apple Maps and has more than 350 million active users globally.
As the first Chinese company to offer location-based services to locals travelling abroad, Baidu provides Chinese tourists with local searches and services including bookings, reviews, travel information and solutions to users before, during, and after the trips both inside and outside China.
In the first half of 2016, Chinese people made 59.03 million trips abroad, up 4.3 percent year-on-year, according to the China National Tourism Administration. Baidu Map said it has covered 25 percent of Chinese outbound tourists, and, by 2020, it aims that overseas users will account for half of its total users.
“People rely on HERE to travel to new places and explore the world. We are excited that this extended agreement with Baidu will help a growing number of travellers and tourists, particularly from China, plan their trips and find their way to more countries and places than ever before.”
Bruno Bourguet, SVP and Head of Sales and Business Development, HERE
With Chinese tourism extending its reach throughout the globe, Baidu is aiming to ensure that outbound travellers are equipped with the tools to make the most of their trips, offering accurate, detailed maps, powered by HERE.
“We will strengthen in-depth cooperation with overseas governments and leading enterprises and choose some key countries to provide mapping services in local languages and increase our local impact,” Li said.