Baidu, the most popular search engine in China, just introduced a mobile version of its “Box Computing” service, which shows relevant information, in addition to existing web links, on search results pages to eliminate the need for using apps.
The service allows users to have direct access to games, e-books, music or other content they have searched for instead of showing a list of Web pages containing links. This, in effect, lets users access almost any kind of information and content right in the search engine results page, without the need of any special app.
Here’s an example by TechNode that illustrates how it works:
Imagine this, while you’re searching for “Beijing Shanghai flights” or even just “Beijing Shanghai” on Baidu, rather than only returns links to outside websites with desirable information, Baidu displays all flights from Beijing to Shanghai in a frame on the search engine results page, along with flight No., schedule, tickets info, and the ticket is only one click away to buy.
According to Chinese research firm Analysys International, there will be more than 606 million mobile users in China by 2012. In the first quarter of the year, Baidu handled 36 percent of the Internet searches coming from mobile devices, according to the firm, which expects the number of searches though mobile phones will overtake those made through PCs in three to five years.