SHANGHAI, Apr. 18 -- Baidu.com Inc said its Japanese Website, which has links to pornography, has been blocked in its home market.
The operator of China's most-used Internet search engine said its Japan site hasn't been accessible within China for two days, Wei Fang, a Baidu spokesman, said today, declining to provide a reason, Bloomberg reported.
The site, which carries advertising from small and medium-sized Chinese companies, can be accessed from outside China. Wang Lijian, a spokesman for the Ministry of Information Industry, the nation's Internet regulator, declined to comment.
"The blocking of the site may hinder Baidu's ability to build up traffic to the Japan site,'' said Richard Ji, a Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd analyst in Hong Kong. The site targets Chinese companies that want to advertise in Japan, he said.
From China, searches through the home page of Baidu Japan return network error messages.
Baidu is the first Chinese company to have a Website blocked in the country, Andrew Lih said, a former Columbia University professor who lives in Beijing and is writing a book about Internet-based communities.
China was home to 137 million Internet users at the end of 2006, according to government data. It trailed only the United States, which had 211 million Web users last year, according to researcher Nielsen/NetRatings.
Baidu opened a trial version of its Japan site last month to attract Web users from the world's second-biggest economy.