Home Chinese Search Company Baidu Launches a Mobile OS

Chinese Search Company Baidu Launches a Mobile OS

Baidu, the Chinese search giant, became the latest company to jump into the mobile operating system game this morning when it previewed Baidu Yi. The Android-based OS will offer much of the core functionality of Google’s mobile OS, but replaces Google’s apps with Baidu’s own equivalents.

The previously-rumored OS was officially announced this morning at the company’s Baidu World event in Beijing and is expected to be available on handsets soon. Some of the OS’s default apps include maps, a book-reading app and a mobile version of Ting, the company’s social music service.

You might say that Baidu, whose search engine is the sixth most-visited website in the world, is that country’s Google. It’s only fitting then that the company would follow in Google’s footsteps, focusing more heavily on mobile and introducing a mobile operating system. But instead of building its own OS (or acquiring another company, as Google did), Baidu has opted to build on top of Android.

Google’s own search engine was China’s second biggest until the company decided to pull out of the country in 2010 in response to concerns over security and censorship.

Android, which is currently the biggest smartphone OS in the United States, has a considerably smaller presence in China, which represents the second largest smartphone market in the world.

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