Baidu operates a search service in China on mobile and desktop. It dominates the search market in China and over 90 percent of its revenues come from advertising. So far, Baidu's international expansion efforts have focused on emerging markets, where the growth of mobile is exploding and internet connections are slowly improving. Baidu has operations in Brazil, Indonesia and Thailand. It does however operate in Japan too which is a more advanced mobile market.
In each market, Baidu has focused on launching local-language versions of its search engine. And it has also looked to expand its footprint through other services. In Indonesia, Baidu has its own Android app store called MoboMarket.
But Europe and the U.S. are two completely different beasts, dominated by U.S. search giant Google. Getting a foothold in these markets will be difficult given the prevalence of Google, particularly on mobile where its Android operating system is the dominant OS in both U.S. and Europe.
On top of that, Baidu will have to deal with different regulation, which at times has been unfavorable to Chinese companies, particularly in the U.S.
It's unclear what strategy Baidu might employ to expand into Europe or the U.S. So far, Baidu has invested in U.S. firms such as Uber and could use this to get a foothold in certain markets.
Other Chinese internet behemoths have already started to expand into Europe - the U.S. E-commerce giant Alibaba for example hired country managersin Italy and the U.K. last year. And its payment service Alipay, has been building partnerships with European companies, to allow Chinese tourists abroad to use the app to pay for items. Alibaba has focused on allowing Chinese consumers to use its services abroad, or to help businesses sell into China. This is potentially something that Baidu could do.
Baidu has a mapping service which currently will help Chinese tourists find local hotels or restaurants wherever they are, something Li said the company could expand on.
"We will start from here and we will gradually expand into other areas," Li said.