Apple CEO Tim Cook has made it abundantly clear how important China is to his company's future. And he might soon prove that point yet again with Baidu integration in iOS.
Chinese news site Sina Tech is reporting today, citing sources, that Apple plans to integrate Baidu search into iOS in April. The move could be a blow to Google, which is currently the default search engine on Chinese iPhones, and trying desperately to catch up to Baidu.
Catching up might be a tall order. Baidu is dominant in the Chinese market and integrated into the vast majority of services that need search. Chinese research group Analysys International last month reported that Baidu owned 78.3 percent of the Chinese search market in the fourth quarter. Google held on with 16.7 percent share.
If Apple follows through with integrating Baidu into iOS and makes the search service the default offering, users would still be able to go back to Google or any other search they might prefer. In the U.S. version of Apple's platform, for example, Google is the default search, but users can switch over to Bing or Yahoo by adjusting their Safari settings.
Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.
(Via The Next Web)