We reported yesterday that Qihoo partnered with Jike.com to hook to the drug database of China’s State Food and Drug Administration in an aim help people discern legitimate drugs from the fake ones. It seems that Baidu is also to follow suit to partner up directly with the State FDA to get access to its drug database as well, according to unconfirmed rumor.
The move apparently is to give a hard blow at Baidu as the latter was known for making profits by giving top rankings to unlicensed medical websites which sell unproven drugs.
Qihoo 360 among other media criticized Baidu for its careless control over such matters. However, medical-related ads contributed to a lion’s share (more than 30%) of Baidu’s total revenue, it’s almost impossible for Baidu to drop that large cake at once. That said, in response to outside criticisms, Baidu had taken some steps to put up stronger control over medical scam ads. The rumored tie-up with China’s State FDA is the latest one of a series of such moves.
In addition to competition from new entrants like Qihoo’s So.com which has demonstrated vigorous power in disrupting the existing market, Baidu also confronted with other issues like the mobile traffic uptake. Traditionally its harder to collect revenue from mobile advertising, so the shift from desktop search to mobile search posed a new challenge to Baidu.
That said, this kind of mobile cannibalization could also be translated into mobile monetization opportunities if the company take the right the necessary steps to ramp up its mobile search offering.
Baidu hasn’t commented on the tie-up rumor yet.
Image credit: Baidu