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Baidu's Li eyes Europe, says Chinese tech companies provide 'viable alternatives'

Robin Li: Innovation now more important than ever

Chinese internet search giant Baidu is eyeing Europe as a potential playground despite the uncertainty posed by Brexit and Apple's tax troubles.

"U.S. internet companies are generally very, very dominant (in Europe). For the search market, Google has a very high market share in Europe; higher than what they have in the U.S., (so) I think European countries are frustrated that they don't have enough number of choices. That actually creates opportunities for companies like us," Baidu CEO Robin Li told CNBC on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hangzhou.

"In terms of technology, at least in the past, it's pretty much U.S. companies dominating everything. Now, Chinese internet companies are coming up and we will be able to provide viable alternatives," he said.

He added Chinese companies are often innovative in solving problems that come up in China and can take that technology overseas.

ChinaFotoPress | ChinaFotoPress | Getty Images

Li's ambitions come as U.S. tech behemoths Alphabet's Google and Apple face challenges in Europe.

Google may face a raft of separate antitrust cases from the European Union after the search giant was accused of abusing its dominant position in areas from Android to advertising.

Meanwhile, the EU's ruling that Ireland must claw back billions in unpaid taxes from U.S. tech giant Apple has caused shockwaves in the business world with questions now being asked over the future of multinationals in Europe, international taxation rules and even the economic partnership between the U.S. and Europe.

Baidu operates a map service in Europe which is predominantly used by Chinese travelers.

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