After the Chinese company search engine, Baidu, was added as part of a software upgrade for iPhones in China, both Baidu and Apple will be entitled to a share of the advertising sales pie. Wang Jing, Vice President at Beijing-based Baidu, said during a phone interview that the revenue-sharing agreement with Apple will follow similar agreements with other smartphones that incorporate built-in Baidu search.
Baidu already accounts for about 80 percent of web searches in China. Apple announced this week that Baidu’s search engine will be available for both iPhone and iPad users, and there is an option for Chinese-language support for Siri voice technology. When iOS 6 is available this fall it, will also understand Mandarin, for both Taiwan and the Chinese mainland, and Cantonese, for Hong Kong and the mainland.
Apple has stated that both iOS 6 and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion will add Baidu as a built-in search option for Chinese users. Apple’s focus on China also includes support for micro-blogging through Sina Weibo and video sharing through Youku and Tudou.
Outside of the U.S., China has become a major focus for Apple as Apple’s revenue tripled in China during the last quarter. Incorporating the already popular Chinese search engine in iOS 6 is definitely a smart move by Apple.