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China’s Leading Search Engine Is Playing Catch-Up in Mobile

China’s long-preeminent search engine is losing on devices
Smartphones are used to demonstrate Baidu’s new Internet browser at the company’s annual forum in Beijing
Smartphones are used to demonstrate Baidu’s new Internet browser at the company’s annual forum in BeijingPhotograph by Nelson Ching/Bloomberg

Baidu claims 82 percent of China’s Web-page searches, but the company is struggling to hang on to mobile users. Although Baidu Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Li puts the company’s share of mobile search at “well above” 50 percent, its total search share has fallen in the past year, IResearch data show. As Baidu’s share drops, rivals such as messaging powerhouse Tencent and software maker Qihoo 360 Technology see opportunities to gain ground in mobile by luring users with games and other apps.