Baidu announces Android fork and teams up with Dell
At Baidu World 2011, Baidu, the company behind China's largest search engine, has announced that it will produce its own fork of the Android 2.x open source mobile operating system. The new Baidu Yi (Chinese language) mobile application system is expected as early as November on a range of mobile phones and tablets that Baidu will develop with hardware vendor Dell, according to a report from Reuters.
Source: yi.baidu.com Baidu will be replacing several of the key Android applications with its own apps, many of which have been developed and are already in use on Android phones in China. These include apps for mapping and music services, and an ebook reader. The company has also launched a set of tools for developing mobile applications that will easily integrate with its existing online services, which include an online store.
Although Baidu declined to comment on the tie-up with Dell, Reuters quoted a Dell spokeswoman who confirmed the cooperation: "We have a partnership with Baidu and you know we have the Streak 5 tablet, so the partnership will be in that space"; she also added that the two companies were cooperating in the handset space. Baidu is also working with several other developers and mobile vendors to support the Baidu Yi project.