Two major Chinese internet companies have announced a partnership which will entail content sharing between platforms and a mobile-centric approach to business.
Baidu is the leading search engine in China, with upwards of 80% market share. Meanwhile, Sina‘s Twitter-like Weibo service is the country’s biggest microblogging service. With this partnership, Sina and Baidu hope to offer users a “better, richer mobile browsing experience.”
Sina Weibo is considered an important source of content in China. Even amid censorship and freedom of speech issues, users have taken to microblogging services to express themselves. In turn, authorities will usually use data and content from microbogs to gauge sentiment across the citizenry. The key here, of course, is moderation. Dissent, criticisms and discussions deemed illegal are quickly snuffed out.
Baidu CEO Robin Li has said that mobile will become a “very important channel to distribute [Baidu's] products.” He highlights growth of traffic from mobile devices, which represents “an ever larger percentage of … total traffic.”
Popular sites and services like Google, Facebook and Twitter are banned from within mainland China, and so local services have thrived in their place. The country is the world’s biggest market for internet and mobile users, with about half a billion Internet users, a big part of which get online exclusively from mobile devices. China also has more than a billion mobile phone users.
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