Microsoft is hoping to rival Google by joining forces with Chinese search giant Baidu.

The firm has signed an agreement with Baidu to provide English-language search results, using Microsoft’s Bing engine.

Baidu has grown massively through its Chinese language search options, and views a partnership with Microsoft as key to expanding into multilingual search.

Market commentators said the move would seriously weaken Google’s position, as it currently has a stranglehold on English-language search in China. Google has already axed it’s Google.cn engine.

According to Bloomberg, Jake Li, from Guotai Junan Securities in Shenzen, said: “This is not good news for Google. Most Chinese internet users currently prefer Google’s English-language search results over Baidu, whose service will be improved by the partnership with Microsoft.”

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