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% 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.