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Baidu launches ‘super-fast’ HTML 5 Android browser

Looks like Chinese internet giant Baidu is making good on its plans to completely dominate the Asian superpower’s mobile space. The company today released an HTML 5 Android browser that it reckons could seriously compete with similar offerings from Opera and Android.

Stuart Thomas: Motorburn Editor
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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According to The Next Web, the product has been in development since 2010, with Chinese and English versions now available for download.

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.

But it is also looking to expand its international portfolio. It now has operations in Brazil as well as a presence in Egypt through France Telecom’s Orange operator.

The browser reportedly performed well in the HTML5 test, scoring 482 out of 500 as against 371 on Chrome mobile, 349 for Firefox, and 367 from Opera. Those numbers do however come from Baidu itself, so a degree of scepticism should probably be exercised with them.

The browser expands Baidu’s mobile presence which includes Baidu Yi, a Linux-based OS, which is also capable of running Android apps and a mobile search product. The latter is set to be included in Apple’s iOS 6 when it launches.

The company is set on having its products on 80% of Android phones shipped in China by the end of the year. Aiming for Android is a smart move. Although the iOS 6 integration gives it a big bosst in the cool stakes, an influx of cheap Android devices has seen it become the dominant platform in China. And if Baidu wants to achieve the numbers it’s set out to, it has to follow the people.