Feeds

Baidu apes Google with Chinese Chrome

You want web stuff that works behind the Great Firewall?

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Chinese search giant Baidu has launched its own web browser, aping Google's Chrome with web applications and aspirations of becoming a desktop replacement.

The Baidu Browser only runs on Windows, but it does have its own application store for web apps (which run in a Webkit-based sandbox) and an extension framework very reminiscent of Chrome's. The browser also offers extensive customisation options for managing shortcuts, creating a screen layout more reminiscent of Apple's iPad than anything else.

Supplied screen shot

We tried to get a better screenshot, but our Chinese let us down during installation

There's a proper review over at Penn Olson, who liked the browser but felt that its reliance on IE for rendering basic HTML pages left it lagging behind competitors in following the latest web standards.

There's no Baidu Browser OS as yet, though persistent rumours suggest the company is working on an Android fork for mobile users. Just like Google, Baidu feels it should be in the platform business rather than just helping people find stuff. Baidu also has aspirations outside its Chinese roots, where it will have to fight Google on a level playing field.

Google is available in China, but uses servers based in Hong Kong and thus suffers through the Chinese Firewall. That firewall generates network errors and slows connections when Google is used, particularly when it is used for potentially sensitive searches. That makes Google look unreliable, and pushes users towards the domestic rival, which recently signed a deal with Bing to handle English-language searches.

Chinese manufacturers are renowned for copying successful products, even cloning an entire Apple store without telling the staff, but Baidu is replicating every element of Google's business model in a market where Google isn't around to compete. Having China as a revenue-generating base from which to attack other markets will enable Baidu to compete with Google, for better or worse. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.