Baidu Births Mobile Browser
With the wireless Internet market in China exploding, Baidu, the country’s largest search engine, is moving quickly to stake its claim. In May, Baidu debuted a new smartphone OS based on Google’s Android operating system. Now the company has launched its own mobile browser to accompany it.
Christened Baidu Mobile Browser, the software is intended as a direct competitor to Safari, the default browser on Apple’s iOS devices; to Chrome, which serves the same function on Android devices; and to UCWeb’s UC Browser. And Baidu has high hopes for its success. During a Monday briefing with reporters, company executives said they hope to see the Baidu Mobile Browser preinstalled on 80 percent of smartphones sold in China by the end of 2012.
That’s a tall order, but then Baidu’s services are enormously popular in China. The country’s share of the Chinese search market is about 80 percent, according to Analysys International. Is it reasonable for Baidu to expect to duplicate its search market success in the mobile browsing space by the end of the year? We’ll know in a matter of months.