Baidu Bows to Competition, Knocks Down Microblogging Service

Chinese search engine giant Baidu has decided to shut down its Twitter like microblogging service, bowing down to competition from Tencent and Sina.

Baidu, which enjoys an 80 percent share in the Chinese search engine market, has stopped taking new members for its Baidu Talk service and plans to shut down the service by the end of this month.

The company refused to give a specific reason for setting the sun on the service, but said that its features will be incorporated in other Baidu products.

The closure comes only a year after Baidu went live with the service, having acquired more than 1 million users in its three months in beta testing.

Many believe that the company was too late in making its mark in China’s booming social media industry. China bans western companies like Facebook and Twitter, allowing only home grown companies to provide the social networking services.

Baidu rivals Tencent and Sina offer their own micro-blogging platforms, which have grown to attract millions of users. Internet portal company Sina offers the Weibo micro blogging service which has more than 140 million registered users while online gaming company Tencent has more than 160 million users for its micro blogging platform.