Chinese search giant Baidu has officially released a HDMI TV plugin today that seems to be a clone of Google’s Chromecast. It is being sold on e-commerce site Jingdong for CNY198 ($32), spotted first by Tencent Tech, as the company steps into the hardware space to extend Web services beyond its traditional outlets.
Earlier this month, Baidu moved into the living room as it began selling smart TVs in China via its iQiyi business. Subsequently, it quietly announced the launch of three gadgets — a USB WiFi dongle, a wireless router and a TV dongle.
The USB WiFi dongle has already gone on sale for CNY18.90 ($3), while the TV dongle has gone on sale today. The router is yet to be rolled out.
Basically, the TV dongle lets users stream content wirelessly from their smartphone, laptop or tablet to the TV screen once plugged into the HDMI port. It supports DLNA, Airplay, Baidu’s BDPlay, as well as iQiyi content — so you can watch videos on your TV easily.
Baidu’s latest product is suspiciously similar to Google’s Chromecast, which was launched in July this year. Other than the TV dongle, Baidu has also been following in Google’s footsteps for a couple of other products – one of them a Google Glass-like wearable technology product initially code-named ‘Baidu Eye’. It seems like the Chinese search giant is going all out to replicate the well-received successes of Google to become a true China Google.
Headline image via Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images