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Apple Seeks to Gain in China’s Mobile Market: Adds Baidu For Search, Updates Siri for Cantonese and Mandarin Speakers

Baidu

Congratulations, Baidu. If rumors become reality, Apple will integrate Baidu into its web tools on the iPhone.  Bloomberg reports “two people with knowledge on the matter” say we should all know by the end of the week at WWDC, Apple, Inc’s annual developer’s conference in San Francisco.

The move by fits with Apple’s plan to stay ahead of Google in mobile development. If WWDC has shown us anything, it’s that Apple is ‘diminishing’ Google’s presence on Apple’s devices. Monday during WWDC, Apple unveiled iOS 6, its new mobile software.

The buzz from WWDC says that the rift between Apple and Google is clear and growing. As Apple tries to stay ahead of Google in apps, its treatment of its Chinese user base and its local web services is a hallmark of how the Cupertino multinational views the importance of the world’s largest mobile market.

The move to include Baidu helps both the Beijing-based search giant and Apple, Inc. Baidu covers about 80% of China’s total search queries.  Adding Baidu to the iPhone offers it as a search alternative in the world’s largest mobile phone market, increasing Baidu’s mobile search revenue and further distancing it from Google applications.

Apple has also beefed up Siri in the newest iOS update, including updates to work for Mandarin and Cantonese speakers.

Are Apple’s developments at WWDC worth holding your breath over? Probably not. But it will be interesting to see how Apple continues to jockey with Google, and how these changes will affect the Chinese mobile market.

Ginny Tonkin is a blogger and digital communications professional, most previously as a digital content producer for GoErie.com. She is passionate about exploring Asia and social media, and anytime those two intersect.

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