Sina Tech, 5/22/12
Liu Zhenyu, general manager of MSN China, announced today that MSN China is planning a move into the e-commerce market that will coincide with the end of beta testing for the company's Bing search engine and an expanded push into the competitive Chinese search market. MSN currently has 50 to 60 mln active monthly users in China, and will move to further integrate its services with the Windows Phone platform in the future.
Liu said that MSN China's business plans center around three drivers of growth. The first of these, Liu said, will be the use of advertising to drive business growth; the second will be paid services; the third will be e-commerce. MSN China's advertising business has reached a fairly mature level over the past eight years, Liu said, while the company is still preparing to launch the other two aspects of its plan.
MSN China will also be responsible for operations of Microsoft's Windows Phone Marketplace in China.
Liu offered no elaboration as to how MSN China will enter the e-commerce market. Acting as a platform would be one option for the company, and Liu indicated that search would contribute to MSN China's competitiveness in e-commerce.
Liu also said that Bing would continue its partnership with Chinese internet company Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU). The two companies had previously formed partnerships in English-language search and other areas including search advertising. He indicated, however, that MSN China has already developed its own advertising system for Bing search.
Editor's Note: For more information on this topic, please see "Microsoft MSN, Shenzhen Government Partner on "M+" Program," MD 5/09/12 and "Hudong, Microsoft Ally on Enterprise Q&A Platform," MD 4/30/12 issues.