It’s been reported recently that Baidu — the Chinese search company with an estimated 70% market share — is working on its own open source mobile OS to combat the competition from Android. Most interesting about the development is that it’s being led by ex-Googlers.
During the censorship controversy between the Chinese government and Google, many Googlers left the company to join Baidu, and it looks like they’re already being put to good use. Details on the mobile OS are scant, but reports indicate that it will definitely be open source and emulate Android in many ways. Android has made significant progress within the Chinese market, even being widely distributed by many of China’s largest wireless carriers.
Baidu retains significant market share in terms of desktop search in the Chinese market, but when it comes to mobile search, Google and Baidu are neck and neck – with each hovering around 26% share. With the revenue at stake in terms of mobile search, Baidu isn’t ready to sit idle while Google continues to make progress. Creating a mobile OS of their own would help Baidu remain in its prominent position. Stay tuned.