Briefing: Baidu eyes fresh grocery delivery, possibly with ad agency partner

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百度又要做电商,想让卖广告的代理商帮忙卖生鲜 – 36Kr

What happened: Chinese tech giant Baidu is looking into an e-commerce project, to be named Baiyoupin (百优品), that will focus on delivery of fresh produce and groceries. Tech media platform 36Kr cited local media as saying the new project would be led by Xiang Hailong, who oversees Baidu’s search related business products and sales force management. One possible strategy, the report said, would be for Baidu to join arms with its advertising agency partners, although it wasn’t clear if that would involve a single agency or a group of agencies. Baidu has not confirmed the reports.

Why it’s important: If confirmed, Baiyoupin would be Baidu’s second attempt to enter e-commerce. The company’s Youa (有啊) project, which was unveiled in 2011, was a failure. Baidu’s perseverance in its e-commerce ambition is partially due its desire to leverage its massive user search data to create user profiles. Baidu would be entering a highly competitive market characterized by a limited number of brands and suppliers, many of which are already cooperating with existing e-commerce giants. Baidu’s lack of physical infrastructure, including logistics support, presents another challenge.