Chinese company Baidu is often referred to as the Google of China. The company operates the largest search engine in China… and now Baidu is getting ready to take another Google-like step. Baidu is preparing to launch a smartphne operating system called Baidu Yi.
Right now the Baidu Yi experience is actually built on top of Google Android software, but future versions could be built from the ground up.
As you’d expect from a smartphone experience designed by a search company, the Baidu Yi phones show a search box prominently. In fact, the search box appears and allows users to search the web even before all the other portions of the operating system have fully loaded.
Baidu Yi also offers users up to 180GB of online storage space for email, photos, contacts, and other data, allowing the OS to run on mobile devices that may not have much local storage.
Baidu isn’t the first Chinese company to announce a mobile operating system with a cloud-based focus. Internet commerce site Alibaba recently introduced Aliyun OS, an operating system designed to run mobile web apps rather than native apps. Like Baidu Yi, Aliyun OS is based on Google Android, but it’s been modified to offer a very different user experience.