Battle Royale 2009: AliBaba and Baidu

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This battle comes in different names. Alipay versus Baidubao, TaoBao against Youa, search giant against C2C king.

It’s been brewing big time. Alibaba’s TaoBao (in)famouly blocked Baidu crawlers, sighting purchased ranking as being unfair. Ironically, this happen when Baidu enters the C2C market by launching Youa with Baifubao as the payment mechanism.

So now, when u look at TaoBao’s spider, you get.

Obviously, Baidu’s decision to enter the C2C and payment market has cringed Alibaba. Alibaba has been dominating both fronts (C2C and payment) for some time now. And Baidu’s decision to enter the market means that they will have a very strong competitor who understands the local market. Baidu could even use its search monopoly to sway search results in it’s favor. This sounds horribly scary for Alibaba.

Instead of waiting to be slaughtered, Alibaba went on the offensive. First blocking out Baidu’s spider and (maybe, I hope in 2009) announcing a search venture.

Now. All these have started brewing way in 2007. And 2009 will see how it bear fruits. The fight might take a couple years more for the dust to settle. At least, we won’t see Baidu takeover TaoBao’s services in 2009 , nor will we see TaoBao’s beat the crap out of Baidu’s Youa just in a year.

2009 will be the year the real battle starts. Expect lot’s of PR, marketing, bad-mouthing from both giants.