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Baidu Plans Light Mobile Operating System

Chinese search engine giant Baidu is planning to develop a search orientated mobile operating system for China's emerging smartphone market.

According to a report on The Financial Times, the company, which has a 75 per cent market share in the Chinese search engine space, said that in the next three to five years, it hopes to develop a light mobile operating system that will put more emphasis on web search.

Baidu Chief Executive Officer Robin Li told the FT that users will be able to do web searches a second after they switch on their smartphones or tablets.

“In order for an operating system to work, it needs to [do a lot of processing], but if we make it just about a search box, then the task will be much simpler,” he said.

“Right now when you power on an iPhone, it takes 45 seconds before you can do anything. In the future, one second, you turn on the device, and you can start using the box. That’s our mission for the future of the internet,” Li added.

Li's comments shed some light on the company's plans to develop a 'box computing' platform similar to what Google has created with Chrome OS, with the web browser as the primary application on the system.

Baidu's move comes at a time when search rival Google is involved in a war of words with the Chinese government, following allegations about a sabotage of Gmail in the country.