Sohu IT, 5/12/11
Eight months after launching its Baidu Talk microblogging platform, Chinese internet company Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) announced yesterday that it would reorganize the service, moving the Baidu Talk team to the company's Post Bar division, headed by GM Shu Xun. Baidu Talk manager Mai Tian will be transferred to a more R&D-focused position.
Baidu VP Zhu Guang said yesterday that with the launch of an updated version of Baidu Talk, infrastructure construction and product development has been completed, and the project has now entered a stable operations and maintenance phase. The Baidu Talk team has been merged with the company's social search team as a part of Baidu's overall social strategy, Zhu said, and rumors that Baidu Talk had been disbanded were "a misunderstanding."
On April 12, Baidu chairman and CEO Robin Li said that Baidu's social strategy called for the company to tie social networking with search services, adding that the company did not see any opportunities in microblogging.
According to a source inside Baidu, opinions within Baidu senior management on Baidu Talk had been divided from the start, and the service's disappointing performance meant that the restructuring came as no surprise. Zhu's reference to "infrastructure work being completed" is a sign that Baidu will not make any further investments in the service, the source said, and that there will be no major upgrades to Baidu Talk in the future.