Baidu Sets Up Joint Lab In Singapore

Leading Chinese language Internet search provider Baidu signed an agreement with The Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) — a research institute of the Agency for Science and Technology Research (A*STAR), to establish a research and development laboratory called the Baidu-I2R Research Centre (BIRC) at the Fusionopolis in Singapore.

I2R and Baidu set up Joint Research Laboratory

Baidu and I2R agree to set up a joint language research laboratory at the Fusionopolis, Singapore.

According to A*STAR, the BIRC will focus on Southeast Asian Language Resources, Natural Language Processing, Information Retrieval and Information Extraction, Speech Information Processing and Multimedia Processing.

The launch of BIRC marks an important step in Baidu’s commitment to enhance its products in Southeast Asia. BIRC’s initial research focus will involve foundational Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies for Southeast Asian languages. I2R’s natural language processing technology allows users to input their native language into the search engine and Baidu’s “Box Computing” will be able to return precise results to the user. BIRC will focus on the Vietnamese and Thai languages in the initial phase.

Madame Wang Mengqiu, Vice President of Baidu, expressed her excitement at the agreement.

Baidu is thrilled to be joining forces with I2R for this joint laboratory. Our overlap and complementary expertise in our research areas make us perfect partners. Our knowledge of Chinese allows us to deliver the best possible user experience to our Chinese users and was fundamental to winning the market. Now, together with I2R we are laying the foundations to deliver an equally good user experience to users in other markets.

Dr Tan Geok Leng, Acting Executive Director of I2R, also had good things to say about the partnership.

Baidu has some of the world’s leading search core technology, and I2R is very excited about establishing BIRC together with such a strong technology partner. We hope that the innovative achievements this partnership yields will enable us to fulfil the constantly evolving needs of netizens from different regions.

Just last month, Baidu beefed up its social bookmarking service, enabling users to give a thumbs up on whatever search results they come across on the site.  Baidu is on an expansion spree, and plans to launch its international operations centre in 2015. The centre is under construction in a 220,000 square-meter campus in southern China. Last year Baidu partnered with Microsoft to utilize some of the English-language results of the software giant’s search engine, Bing.

Baidu reported Q4 2011 profit of 2 billion yuan (US$ 326.3 million), or 6 yuan per share (US$ 0.95). With a healthy spreadsheet — and projections of more of the same for this year, Baidu is poised to spend a lot on research, development and advertising.