This caught my eye when I was writing that Google post the other day, and I couldn’t resist:
Baidu 少儿, or Baidu Kids, is beautifully done and reflects Baidu’s understanding of the Chinese market. When I was doing fieldwork in Beijing last summer, one of the teachers we interviewed said that some Grade 1 homework assignments involved running internet searches and bringing some results to class. And there is nothing better than a safe search engine for that end. (The only problem would be convincing kids to goto the Kids site.)
The first row of links (the golden paw buttons above) are: Study English, Play Games, Science Knowledge, Child Songs, Cartoons, Parents’ Links. The first link on the top left being "Study English" again reflects an understanding, this time of the parents’ wishes.
I may be reading too much into this though, since it’s only a beta section, and their "understanding" might have come out of luck rather than strategic planning.
P.S. Baidu’s also been up to other things, mainly in the converging mobile and web realms. See China Web 2.0 Review’s post about their new call-in search service (powered by real human operators).