Baidu launched its own mobile applications platform on Friday and laid out plans to release a mobile operating system based on it in the future, according to a report by Reuters. Named Baidu Yi, the apps platform is based on a heavily modified version of Android.

The apps platform launched by the company will allow developers to create applications and games for the company’s upcoming OS, which will be heavily search-centric, as we revealed in March this year. The Chinese search giant also launched a new homepage on the same day that added social networking and other features to its previously spartan interface.

Baidu Yi is going to be based on a very highly customised version of Android, with all of Google’s services replaced on it by Baidu’s own. It will feature books, maps and music services, as well as its Shen Bian service in place of Google’s Places feature. It will be heavily cloud-focused, with cloud-based backup, sharing and storage features built right into the operating system.