Chinese Web giants Baidu and Sina team up on mobile search and content

31 July 2012 23 h 46 min Comments Off

Baidu, China’s largest search engine, and Sina, one of the Chinese major portal and the oprator of the popular Sina Weibo microblogging service, have announced a new partnership that will result in swapping mobile and cloud-based search and content across their respective platforms.

Baidu has almost 80 percent market share among domestic search engines, while Sina Weibo, with its 300 million users, has emerged as a powerful social media force in China.

The partnership will include work on search, content, platform, technology and resources. Specifically, Sina will integrate Baidu search for its mobile website, while the Baidu Cloud initiative will come with the Weibo app preinstalled.

The 2 companies have identified mobile platforms as vital to their future and they both intend to create a “better, richer mobile browsing experience” for users.

In February, Baidu CEO Robin Li highlighted the company’s new focus on mobile. Sina revealed in May that Weibo now has more mobile-based users than those on PCs.

Baidu boss Robin Li said “mobile would become a very important channel to distribute our products. During the coming year, mobile will represent an ever larger percentage of our total traffic,” he added.

In addition to its collaboration with Sina, Baidu has also announced other cooperation with Apple and Japanese wireless operator DoCoMo. Both partners have created a joint venture called Baidu Yi Xin, in which DoCoMo will invest $22.5 million for a 20 percent stake.

Key details of the Baidu / Sina agreement :
1. The iAsk search function on Sina’s mobile sites will use Baidu as the default search engine; once the user enters a search term, the system will jump to the results page of Baidu mobile search.
2. Baidu’s cloud platform for mobile terminals will pre-install Sina’s Weibo microblogging client.
3. Baidu’s mobile app platform will carry Sina’s various mobile clients; high traffic to the platform is expected to drive a major boost in downloads of Sina’s apps.
4. Baidu and Sina will integrate certain aspects of their respective open platforms.

Sources: 36KR, (31/07/2012)

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