Microsoft has announced a joint search partnership with Chinese search engine giant Baidu, which will see Bing power all search queries made in English.

Reuters reported on the deal earlier today, and it seems that any search carried out in English will automatically trigger Bing, and the results will be parsed into Baidu’s pages.

Microsoft and Baidu originally formed a paid search partnership back in 2006, and under the terms of that agreement, Baidu’s paid listings appeared on the results pages of the Chinese-language versions of Microsoft sites such as MSN and Live Search, the latter of which was relaunched as Bing in 2009.

This latest partnership has been rumored for a number of months, and we first reported on this back in May. Now, it seems the partnership is official and this will give Microsoft better access to China’s 450m+ Internet users. Crucially, it will also give Microsoft traction where Google has previously struggled, as it reportedly experienced a number of cyber-attacks and censorship issues in the country.

Baidu holds fort in the the Chinese search engine market, holding more than three quarters of all searches. Google is in second place with almost a fifth of the market, though its Google.cn domain acts as a holding page to redirect visitors to its Hong Kong counterpart.

This deal will see Microsoft tap into a wealth of new users, whilst allowing Baidu to capitalize on an improved English-language search facility as it seeks to expand overseas too.