CHINESE INTERNET SEARCH OUTFIT Baidu has launched a mobile web browser to cash in on Chinese smartphone users.
Baidu, the dominant search engine in China, has launched the Baidu Mobile Browser, which will go up against Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome. According to the firm, the Baidu Mobile Browser is 20 percent faster than its rivals.
Going by the details released by Baidu on Friday ahead of its launch, the browser seems to take Google Chrome's approach to web apps and the ability to watch video without having to download external applications. The firm expects its web browser to eventually help it generate cash from mobile web users, presumably through the sale of advertising, web apps and content.
Baidu, which still has links with Yahoo, has been trying to find ways to monetise its search engine traffic. While Chinese smartphone punters have taken to Android, the firm cannot rely on a web browser alone to generate a significant amount of revenue. Just ask Mozilla, which relies on Google for the majority of its revenue. So Baidu will have to treat its web browser as one part of a wider revenue generation system.
Baidu has very high hopes for its web browser and said it wants the browser on 80 percent of Chinese Android handsets by the end of the year. The firm's CFO, Jennifer Li also revealed that Baidu will spend $1.6bn to set up a cloud computing centre, another market where the search engine hopes to generate cash in the near future. µ