Nearly four months after the app store added Hindi language support for its users, leading Chinese language Internet search provider Baidu on Wednesday announced that its new version of MoboMarket will now support Bengali, Marathi, Tamil and Urdu too.
“Even though the technology industry in India is dominated by English, that language is just a tiny sliver when you consider India’s enormous linguistic diversity,” said Jeff Li, product director of MoboMarket, in a statement.
The product team plans to include more Indian languages such as Telugu in the near future.
“Over 1,000 languages are spoken throughout India. Content in regional languages is in huge demand, and we’re going to keep working to bridge the language gap for more people,” Li added.
According to a 2001 census conducted by the ministry of home affairs, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu and Telugu are spoken by 33 percent of people in India while Hindi is spoken by over 41 percent of the population.
Back in January, Baidu said it was in talks to invest in Indian e-commerce start-ups including Zomato, BookMyShow and BigBasket, a spokesman for China’s top online search provider said on Wednesday.
“The Indian market represents an enormous opportunity for us to connect more people with services, and we plan to put more resources there in the future,” the spokesman told Reuters by email.
Baidu declined to comment on possible investment amounts or time frames.
India’s technology startup market is booming as more and more people shop online, in a country where about 20 percent of a population of 1.3 billion are connected to the Internet.