China Mobile and Xinhua News Agency have signed an agreement to establish a new Internet search engine company, Xinhua reported on Thursday.
The two companies are intent on building a new search engine, but no further details were given by Xinhua, which is a state-controlled media agency. China Mobile, the country’s largest mobile operator, could not be reached for immediate comment.
China’s search market is already dominated by Chinese company Baidu, which controls a 70 percent share according to Analysys International. Google ranks at second place with control of 24.2 percent of the market.
It is unclear if the joint venture is geared for desktop or mobile searches. The project could be simply meant to perform mobile searches on the contents of Xinhua, said Liu Ning, a principal analyst with technology consultancy BDA.
If it is for desktop search, “I don’t think they have any really strong resources that can help them compete with a leader player like Baidu or Google,” he added.