“It is currently in public beta testing,” said John Spelich, Alibaba’s vice president for international corporate affairs. He declined to give any other details. A spokeswoman for Microsoft in China did not immediately respond to phone messages.
The new site combines Alibaba’s e-commerce search engine and a Chinese-language version of Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Bing has struggled to gain a foothold in China’s intensely competitive market.
China’s dominant search engine is operated by Baidu Inc., which had a 70 percent market share in the second quarter of the year, according to Analysys International, a research firm in Beijing. Google’s market share slipped to 24.2 percent from 30.9 percent in the previous quarter following the closure of its China search engine.
In August, the state-run Xinhua News Agency announced it would launch a search service with state-owned China Mobile Ltd., the world’s biggest phone carrier by subscribers.
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