LONDON Jan 14 Chinese search engine company
Baidu has teamed up with France Telecom to
develop a mobile browser tailored to customers in Africa and the
Middle East, a region both companies have prioritised for
The partnership, a global first for Baidu, aims to drive
adoption of the mobile internet in emerging markets by making
browsing simpler and more affordable.
The new browser, which is initially available in English and
Arabic, was launched on Android smartphones by France Telecom's
Egyptian operator Mobinil on Monday.
Orange, France Telecom's mobile division, said customers
were steadily moving from basic phones to low cost smartphones
as faster 3G networks were becoming available.
The shift helps increase the amount of revenue it earns from
its customer base of nearly 80 million in the region.
In Egypt, where demand for Android devices doubled in the
second half of 2012, its average revenue per user per year of 36
euros is less than one tenth of the level of France.
Baidu said the deal meant it could export the knowledge it
had gained in developing products for China, the world's largest
"We're now bringing that experience to bear in other markets
now enjoying rapid growth," said Hu Yong, general manager of
Baidu's International Business Unit.