News Column

Baidu and Sina Link Up Social Network in China

August 1, 2012

China's Internet search giant Baidu and Sina, which runs the country's most popular Twitter-like social network service, have announced a partnership.

A focus on mobile is at the center of the deal, as Sina plans to integrate Baidu search into its mobile site and Baidu will offer a cloud storage service using a preinstalled Sina Weibo micro-blogging app.

The arrangement will profit both companies, an analyst said.

"Anything that extends the network effect of users and deepens the pool of content is a plus," Duncan Clark, chairman of consultancy BDA China, told the BBC

"Sina's Weibo is such an important source now of content -- it's really the pulse of the nation -- that for Baidu being able to index the content and make it accessible to users is a fairly important way of keeping its edge in search," he said.

At the end of 2011 China became the world's biggest mobile market and by May 2012 Sina Weibo said the majority of its 300 million users were on mobile devices and not on PCs.

Baidu head Robin Li said mobile would "become a very important channel to distribute our products."

"During the coming year, mobile will represent an ever larger percentage of our total traffic."

Source: Copyright United Press International 2012

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