BEIJING May 11 Baidu Inc, China's
largest search engine, will launch a new smartphone partnership
next week, that will see the smartphone use an upgraded version
of its mobile operating system, a senior company executive said
Baidu will announce the tie-up next week for new mobile
devices, similar to Baidu's partnership with Dell Inc
last December when Dell launched a smartphone running on Baidu's
Yi platform. However, the new smartphones will run an upgraded
version of Baidu Yi and will be called Baidu Cloud.
"We have a few partnerships coming up and will announce it
in a week," Wang Jing, Baidu's vice president of engineering and
head of mobile, told Reuters.
Wang said the firm was in talks with "global" handset
manufacturers to make smartphones with Baidu's mobile operating
system, for the Chinese market.
Wang also said Baidu was moving towards becoming a platform
company that offered products across a spectrum of devices, from
being a products company.
The focus on cloud computing comes as more people access the
Internet from their mobile phones rather than desktop, putting
pressure on Internet companies, such as Google and Facebook Inc
, to develop robust mobile platforms from which people can
still use their services.
Last year, Baidu launched its mobile platform, Yi, in China
to compete with Google Inc's Android mobile operating
system and Apple Inc's iOS.
At the end of 2011, China had 356 million mobile Internet
users, government statistics showed.