Baidu launches own mobile platform

September 4th, 2011 - 3:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Sep 4 (IANS) China’s top search engine Baidu has launched its own mobile application platform to bolster its presence in the competitive mobile web market.

The platform, named Baidu Yi and modelled on Google’s Android mobile operating system, will enable third-party application developers to create apps such as games, maps and other tools which they can distribute in a similar way to Apple Inc’s App Store, Shanghai Daily reported Saturday.

Baidu Yi will be rolled out to mobile devices in the future. The company also launched its new homepage, which will add four features, including social networking functions.

However, Baidu Inc CEO Robin Li said the new homepage could have a negative impact on its revenue by requiring users to register a Baidu account, reducing traffic on the site.

The page, with more links and content, could also affect loading speeds.

“We don’t know how negative it will be,” Li said in an interview with Internet portal SohuIT. “No matter how big the loss would be, this represents the future of the industry. If we don’t do it, others might,” the newspaper quoted the executive as saying.

Baidu has about 200 million registered users. It has built on its dominance of China’s search market significantly since Google’s high-profile exit last year, and now has more than 80 percent market share, the daily added.

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