China-based Baidu has reportedly inked an English-language search agreement with Microsoft's Bing.
According to Reuters, the search deal will help Baidu improve its market presence outside of China, while Microsoft hopes to beef up its online footfall in the People's Republic.
Baidu is the leading search engine in China. In contrast, Google continues to lose market share in the country, where it has had several high profile run-ins with Beijing government officials.
Any English language query tapped into Baidu's search box will automatically activate Microsoft's Bing, reported Reuters.
Baidu execs have been publicly stating their desire to reach out to an international market for some time now.
Similarly, Microsoft – which has repeatedly spoken out against what it sees as rampant software piracy in China – wants to bump up its search credentials by moving into a market where it doesn't have to fiercely compete with Google's dominant engine.
Baidu said Microsoft would get the chance to reach out to 450 million internet users under the deal, the financial terms of which were not disclosed.
Just last month, China issued a clear warning against Google's plans to grow its business in the country and labelled the company a "political tool", following earlier hacking claims Mountain View made against the Chinese government.
"Google should not become overly embroiled in international political struggle, playing the role of a tool for political contention," read a comment piece in official Beijing newspaper the People's Daily.
"For when the international winds shift direction, it may become sacrificed to politics and will be spurned by the marketplace." ®