Data Efficient Orange Baidu Browser Targets Emerging Markets

France-Telecom owned Orange has teamed up with Chinese search engine Baidu to create an Android-based web browser targeted at emerging markets in the Middle East and Africa.

The co-branded browser will be first deployed in Arabic and once available in French and English will be released in 22 countries in the two regions.

It will be pre-loaded onto a number of entry-level devices available on Orange networks and will use network compression technology to reduce the amount of data transferred.

Orange Baidu browser for Android

The deal has been called a first for the Chinese search company, with China being the largest trading partner with Africa. Orange said that Baidu’s existing services in Egypt were an attraction but there were no deals for it to provide search services.

Orange has long complained that Internet companies such as Google use its cellular networks but do not contribute financially. Details of the deal were not disclosed, but the French company said that Baidu would gain more knowledge of the emerging markets and enlarge its audience.

Nokia is also targeting emerging markets with its range of Asha feature phones. It says that it aims to get the ‘next billion’ people online by promoting the use of mobile phones in areas where fixed broadband connections are non-existent.

The Asha range uses Nokia Browser 2.0, which the Finnish manufacturer claims can reduce data consumption by up to 90 percent through the use of cloud technology and load webpages up to three times faster than conventional browsers.

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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