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Baidu Declines to Confirm, Deny FT Report of System

Baidu Inc., operator of China’s most popular search-engine, declined to confirm or deny a report in the Financial Times that the company plans to create an operating system for mobile devices.

Baidu plans to develop a “light operating system” for mobile devices, the Financial Times reported today, citing an interview with Chief Executive Officer Robin Li. Kaiser Kuo, a spokesman at the Beijing-based company, declined to confirm or deny that report. What Li discussed was the company’s vision for “box computing,” which was first revealed almost two years ago, Kuo said.

“Robin did not specifically say that Baidu is developing an operating system for mobiles,” said Kuo, who refused to comment on whether the company is actually doing so. “Box computing has been the long-term vision of the company since July 2009.”

The company’s vision is to “obviate” operating systems so that the customer interface on any device, be it a personal computer, notebook, tablet or smartphone, is a simple, yet powerful search box using conversational language, Kuo said. Baidu has said it intends to develop its box computing service to link the provision of content including books, video games and other entertainment, to online searches.

Baidu has more than 75 percent of the market for online search ads in China, the world’s largest Internet market with 457 million Web users, according to research company Analysys International.

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