Chinese search giant Baidu has entered the Australian market with a launch team featuring several well known players from the local digital market.
Fionn Hyndman, best known in the Australian market from his time as CEO of performance marketing company dgm, is Baidu International’s executive director, based in Singapore.
Locally, Dean Capobianco – previously group commercial and operations director at ninemsn and director of sales at Yahoo Search Marketing – will help establish the Australian office in an advisory role. Capobianco left ninemsn in January.
Paul Christy, a previous GM of Telstra’s mobile strategy and innovation unit, will be GM of the Australian office of Baidu International.
The Beijing-headquartered Baidu has a credible claim of being Asia’s largest search engine with a market share of more than half of all Chinese search terms.
Baidu International is the organisation’s reseller outside of China.
Hyndman said: “Paul and Dean bring a deep understanding of the digital marketing space and the challenges faced by digital advertisers in the current global economy. Over 175 million Chinese users have already made purchases online. Increasingly, it is Western goods and services that are benefiting from this maturing community. With the proximity to Australia, and the desire for these goods and services, Australian firms are ideally placed to benefit from the market growth and internationalisation of China.”
Capobianco said: “Everyone knows that the strength in the Australian economy is, in a large part, due to the business we do with China, and that is about more than just mining. China is our largest trade partner, their tourists spend more than three times other international visitors, their students attend our universities with full fee paying spots and they are huge investors in property and retail. I felt the time was right to help Australian advertisers address this opportunity.”