ZD Net reported today that Baidu announced that China’s Ministry of Industry will invest a hefty 3 Billion yuan to support SME’s.

Called the glorious “Millions of small and medium power Xiang plan”, the investment will be used to help 2 million SME’s access Baidu products and services to boost productivity and sales.

According to Baidu’s CFO, Li Xin, there are over 400,000 SME businesses using Baidu search engine marketing services but only accounts for 1% of their business. There is a long way to go, in increasing the SME business proportion.

The plan will create jobs through training search marketing professionals, enhance marketing capabilities of SMEs and build a service platform for SMEs, especially in remote and less developed areas. The goal is to promote regional economic development. The first areas to enjoy the benefits of the plan are Beijing, Shanxi, Henan, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang. It will gradually roll out to 31 provinces and autonomous regions.

With the world swirling into another economic crisis, China knows that to be well prepared it needs to support the lifeblood of economic activity and jobs in China – SMEs. SMEs account for 99% of the total number of enterprises in China and contribute 60% to GDP, as well as provide 80% of urban jobs.