Chinese Internet company Baidu has announced that it has completed amendments to its e-commerce platform and will now accept up to 10,000 applications for beta testers.
For customers who apply to become beta testers, and are accepted, Baidu's e-commerce platform will offer independent .CN domain names, free promotions, and customized marketing activities. In addition, these customers will have rights to: upload products, decorate their online shops, and complete business certification before the opening of the platform in preparation for the opening of their shops.
These moves appear to place it in competition with Chinese e-commerce heavyweight Alibaba.com, which focuses solely on online commerce.
Starting from October 2007, Baidu announced its expansion plan in the e-commerce sector and Li Yanhong, CEO of Baidu, stated in the second quarter of 2008 that the company's e-commerce platform would be released before the end of the year 2008. To launch Baidu's investment activities around China, it has entered cities where e-commerce development is relatively mature, including Beijing, Ningbo, Guangzhou, Nanjing, and Wuhan.
Li Mingyuan, general manager for the e-commerce business department of Baidu, stated that the launch of the beta test is an extension of Baidu's investment activities. The company will do all the work strictly in accordance with its existing schedule and will try to maintain a consistently good performance from its products.
Although the details of the e-commerce platform have not been released, Baidu said earlier that it will integrate its resources, including its search engine, its community, and Baidu Hi, to create an efficient one-stop shopping platform for online sellers and buyers.