Baidu wants to dominate Chinese mobile in 2012

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Chinese search giant Baidu wants to dominate the country’s exploding mobile market in 2012. That’s according to CEO Robin Li, who was speaking during a fourth quarter earnings conference call.

During the call, Li explained why the company needed to push its mobile monetary focus, an area he admitted it had neglected in the past:

“We do think mobile will become a very important channel to distribute our products and that has increasingly become true over the past quarter. And we think during the coming year, mobile will represent an ever larger percentage of our total traffic,” Robin Li, chief executive of Baidu told an earnings conference call.

“In the past, we have not spent any resources in monetizing the mobile traffic. But starting from this year, we will do something to figure out how to better serve our customers on our mobile platform,” he added.

Baidu does already have a mobile presence in the form of Baidu Yi, a Linux-based OS, which is also capable of running Android apps. Li said the firm was hoping make smartphone vendors more receptive to the OS.

Baidu is the predominant search power in China and consolidated its position after Google moved its Chinese operations to Hong Kong in 2010, following a disagreement over the country’s online censorship policies.

In fact, Baidu accounts for some 78% of search revenues in China. Being a superpower in the world’s largest online market may not make Baidu an automatic winner in the mobile space, but it will give it something of an advantage.

The company is reportedly looking to expand its international portfolio, with TheNextWeb reporting that it is close to opening up a Latin American office in Sao Paulo.

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