Chinese search engine Baidu.com is developing a mobile app that will be preloaded on many Chinese handsets in an effort to prevent Google from gaining share as search goes increasingly mobile. According to Computer World:
Mobile phones pre-loaded with the Baidu Palm application should appear on the market soon as the company has already reached deals with handset makers, a Baidu representative said in an e-mail late Friday. The software is the "most important product in Baidu's mobile strategy," the company said in a statement announcing it last week.
Baidu is the third largest search engine by volume in the world, based solely on its dominance of the Chinese market:
According to Opera's most recent State of the Mobile Web report, Google is third and Baidu is first among the top ten sites visited by those using the Opera browser on mobile devices in China:
The iPhone, which had a lackluster debut in China (chiefly because it's so expensive), is mostly a Google search device, as is Android. In particular, if Android devices do well in China that will benefit Google's market share. It will be interesting to see if Chinese Android users still prefer Baidu or simply use the Google box on the handset's homescreen.