Baidu is a web services provider based in China. Its main application is a search engine similar to Google, and like Google, it also offers several other services, like weather forecast, multimedia content search, maps, games, etc. Some of the products offered are:
- Search products: web search, image search, video search, news, etc.
- Social-networking products: space, share, etc.
- User-generated and content-based products: knows, encyclopedia, experience, etc.
- Location-based products and services: map search.
- Music products: MP3 search, TT player.
- PC Client software: Browser, media player, reader, etc.
- Mobile-related products and services: mobile search, mobile browser, contacts, etc.
- Other products and services: baijob, baidupay, statistics, translation, etc.
It is the number 1 search engine in China. So far, Baidu has developed web-based applications, but also a cloud-based operating system, which has been adapted to mobile devices, and it has also recently launched its own mobile device.
Baidu’s cloud smartphone
Baidu’s operating system for mobiles was launched in August 2013. It is mainly cloud-based, which means it doesn’t need a powerful device in order to run, just an internet connection. As part of its launching campaign, Baidu has announced a 100GB of free storage in the cloud for all users.
Although the intention to launch versions for Windows Phone and iOS have been announced, Baidu mobile OS works for now only on Android-based Samsung Galaxy S.
However, Chinese users have complained that some of the apps provided by Baidu are not available on the Android platform, as it doesn’t support them. Baidu offers more apps that are relevant to Chinese users compared to Android, which makes its product clearly China-focused. So in order to solve this, Baidu launched its own Smartphone, the Changhong H5018, which works on a forked version of Android. This means that users of Android phones can personalize their devices to use Baidu more efficiently.
Intel is making real efforts in order to increase its presence on mobile devices. In order to accomplish this goal, Intel and Baidu have signed a collaboration contract to develop software for the Chinese mobile internet market. They’ve created a laboratory and Chinese developers will have access to Intel-based products based (tablets, PCs and smartphones) in order to test the software.
Intel will also offer the Chinese developers access to software tools. The purpose of this is to develop an app which will integrate voice and face recognition features. The agreement was signed at the end of the Intel Developer Forum kept in Beijing, where Intel made several statements that revealed Intel’s commitment to Baidu, not only in the mobile field, but also in the cloud computing area.
Baidu, Google’s Asian equivalent in the search engine market, confirmed that their agreement with Intel won’t focus only on software and its hardware integration, although it won’t include smartphone development.
Baidu’s algorithm works differently from the algorithms of Google, Bing, or Yahoo. It is less sophisticated and resembles the ones used for some older search engines.
In 2013, the company wanted to provide better internet search results, so it made 7 updates to its algorithm. Thanks to this launch, more than 6 billion pages were affected, obtaining better rank and position.
The latest Baidu algorithm was released in August 2014, and it was called “Ice Bucket”. Its aim is to improve user’s poor mobile experience caused by large amounts of information containing splash pages and popup ads. But this algorithm favours those websites which force users to download apps to access the content.
Source: China Internet Watch
Baidu Map Services
With the launch of Baidu in the Chinese Market, there were too many things to improve, especially the compatibility of this search engine’s applications with Android and iOS.
Last year, Baidu created a map service applicable to iOS 6, but the system was poorly received. It also created a map service for Android 4.0, which attained greater acceptance. However, in spite of these improvements, Baidu does not have a good map service outside China and, according to some users, coverage for the service in China is really poor.
For this reason, Baidu reached an agreement with Nokia to provide map service, both in China and abroad. This way, Baidu will be able to develop international businesses through mobile services and Nokia will be able to develop a Chinese-language world map, a market it has been focusing on for several years now.
Taiwan will be the first country where this service will be applied and, progressively, it will be spread out to other countries.