Baidu Launches Cloud Storage Platform

Baidu is China's leading search engine, as dominant as Google is in the Western world.

And just like the big G, Baidu isn't content to sit back, instead looking for avenues to expand into - with its latest plans being the launch of a cloud storage platform.

Tech In Asia reported that Baidu announced its platform at a developers conference today, naming it WangPan, which literally translates as "web disk". It will go head-to-head with Microsoft's SkyDrive and Dropbox, allowing users to upload files to a cloud storage locker.

A new user will receive 15GB of storage space - not quite as much as Microsoft's SkyDrive allowance of 25GB, but still a healthy amount. Music, photos, videos, all types of media and documents can be uploaded to that allocated space.

The amount of usable space will be subject to expansion, although quite what it'll cost the user to up the storage limit isn't clear yet.

PC and Android WangPan apps are now available, with versions for iOS and the Mac in the pipeline. At this stage though, the platform is launching in a private beta with limited access.

Given Baidu's presence in China, this solution could potentially grab a large share of the cloud storage locker market in the country. And the cloud is certainly the future, as Microsoft is well aware, with its plans to integrate SkyDrive into Windows 8.