Baidu Inc., China’s leading search engine, has launched a new mobile browser in an effort to capture the nation’s vast mobile internet market. Baidu Explorer is said to be 20% faster than products from main competitors, including Apple’s Safari, UCWeb Inc's UC Browser and Google’s Chrome.
China has seen its number of mobile internet users rise to 388 million out of the its overall internet market of 538 million users. According to a government report recently released, for the first time the number of mobile users in China has surpassed the number of desktop users accessing the internet.
At Baidu’s annual developer conference in Beijing, Baidu’s general manager Li Mingyuan said the company’s goal with this new software is to help make Baidu the same gateway for people in China accessing the internet on handsets as it currently is for desktop users.
As such, Baidu is hoping to have its new mobile browser downloaded by 80% of Android users in China by the end of the year. However, despite Baidu overcoming Google competition (who holds just over 15% of the search market in China) to win close to 80% of China’s search-engine market by sales, Baidu faces other threats from a local popular browser offered by Qihoo 360 Technology Co, who started its own search engine last month.
Baidu To Invest $1.6 Billion In Cloud Computing
On the heels of Baidu’s recent mobile browser announcement, the company is also planning to invest more than $1.6 billion in a cloud-computing center to further expand the hold it already has on the rapid growth in internet usage on mobile phones.
While Baidu has been offering remote storage to users and application developers to further its mobile services initiatives, according to Li Xinzhe, Baidu’s chief financial officer: “This investment will go toward building data centers and hiring staff for its online data-storage service.”
Key Statistics – Cloud Computing Market in China (source: NetScribes)
- From 2010 to 2015, China’s cloud computing market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of as much as 78%.
- In the US, 74% of companies have adopted virtualization; however, the number of Chinese companies remains low at 14%.
- Data security threats remain one of the biggest concerns in cloud computing among 80% of Chinese executives.
- Due to the rise in smartphone use and further development of 3G/4G networks, China’s mobile cloud computing market shows major potential, with the nation’s internet population expected to rise by 17% from 2007–2015.