Baidu is moving ahead into the cloud computing market with a new customized cloud solution for terminal manufacturers. In total, Baidu’s chief architect of the cloud project, Lin Shiding, said that they will be investing 4.7 billion yuan ($754.6 million USD) in a new cloud computing center.
They are also forming a strategic platform partnership with Samsung. Under the cooperation, Baidu will provide comprehensive storage, collaboration, sharing, and customized services for users of such models as the Galaxy Note II, allowing them to organize and utilize videos, music, pictures, documents and other data services.
Baidu’s cloud services launched in September, and since then approximately 20 million users have signed up. The new center will be established in Yangquan, Shanxi Province over a construction period of approximately 4 years. It will cover 120,000 square meters and include storage capacity as high as 4000PB (a petabyte is 1000 terabytes), which is equivalent to the information of more than 20,000 collections from the National Library of China, says Lin Shiding.
Baidu has recently been placing a greater emphasis on cloud computing technology especially in the mobile realm. CEO Robin Li in particular has made a point to tell employees to fight against the status quo and promote newer technologies and avenues of growth. Additionally, last week Baidu indicated it would be issuing bonds to store up cash for a potential push abroad.
With this new cooperation in place, one could speculate that Baidu is positioning itself to expand its cloud computing services abroad eventually, as Samsung is currently the largest seller of Android phones worldwide (90.4 million handsets sold in Q2). For the time being, however, the service will be available only in China.