Baidu launches app preview service

Baidu seen on an iPhone 4 China's mobile internet market is growing fast

Related Stories

Chinese search engine Baidu has said it will allow people to preview mobile apps without needing to download them.

Baidu's free Light App platform will run other apps, giving users a chance to access them without having to install them first.

The service would help less well-known apps get more visibility, the firm said at its annual Baidu World event.

Analysts say the move can be seen as an effort by Baidu to expand its reach in China's mobile internet market.

"The traditional app store model has a fundamental flaw because it only benefits a few popular apps, while a huge number of small developers are finding it hard to survive," Baidu chief executive Robin Li said, according to the China Daily newspaper.

He added that only a few hundred apps - which reportedly make up just 0.1% of the apps available - made up 70% of all downloads.

But the chief executive said the Light App would provide exposure to "low frequency" apps, which a user might need to use only occasionally.

Developers of these less popular apps would still earn revenue through the conventional channels - adverts within their app or through downloads.

Baidu has said it plans to add other services, such as online payment systems, travel guides and music to the Light App platform, China Daily reported.

In a rapidly expanding mobile internet market in China, some correspondents say the country's largest search engine must be more innovative to stay ahead.

In July, Baidu bought China's largest mobile app store, 91 Wireless Websoft, for nearly $2bn (£1.3bn).

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Technology stories

RSS

Features

  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back


  • Aimen DeanI spied

    The founder member of al-Qaeda who worked for MI6


  • Before and after shotsPerfect body

    Just how reliable are 'before and after' photos?


  • Lotus 97T driven by Elio de AngelisBeen and Gone

    A champion F1 designer and other notable losses


  • A poster of Boris Nemtsov at a rally in St Petersburg, Russia, 1 MarchWho killed Nemtsov?

    Theories abound over murder that shocked Moscow


Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.