Microsoft is partnering with China’s electronic commerce conglomerate Alibaba to create a new search engine for the China market, the Wall Street Journal reported. Alibaba launched a beta version of the search engine, dubbed Etao, on Saturday. The engine is structured so that Taobao.com listings – a website owned by Alibaba – appear first, followed by online forums and then informational websites listed by Microsoft’s Bing search engine. The partnership presents a clear challenge to the Chinese web search engine Baidu, which has consistently dominated rivals Google and Yahoo in China. Other major Chinese internet companies, notably Tencent, have also made forays into China’s search engine market, but analysts caution that it will be some time before they are able to make an impact on Baidu’s lead.
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