In China, the country’s top search engine, Baidu, said it plans to begin monetizing its mobile search traffic and social media platforms, this year. Not unlike strategies being pursued by certain American Web giants, Baidu says the effort will help boost growth beyond the PC. Putting the move in a larger context, Reuter writes: “Baidu has expanded its dominant position in China's Internet search market ever since Google Inc decided in 2010 to relocate its search engine to Hong Kong following a standoff with the Chinese government over Internet censorship.”
Thanks to strong revenue growth, the company just reported fourth-quarter earnings slightly ahead of Wall Street's expectations. On an earnings call, Baidu chief executive Robin Li said: "We do think mobile will become a very important channel to distribute our products and that has increasingly become true over the past quarter. And we think during the coming year, mobile will represent an ever larger percentage of our total traffic.”
Added Li: "In the past, we have not spent any resources in monetizing the mobile traffic. But starting from this year, we will do something to figure out how to better serve our customers on our mobile platform.” Late last year, as Reuters recalls, Dell launched a smartphone based on Baidu Yi, a Linux-based mobile platform that links with Baidu's Internet services.