Baidu launches smart TVs to compete in China's online video biz

The Chinese search engine aims to compete with Alibaba group, which in July unveiled its own smart TV operating system and set-top box.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor

Baidu is selling smart TVs under a partnership with Chinese manufacturer TCL Multimedia Technology, as it looks to compete in the growing online video business.

This will allow the Chinese search giant to expand the reach of its online video platform, iQiyi, and build on its US$370 million acquisition of PPStream in June.

Baidu and TCL's 48-inch TV, dubbed TCL-iQIYI TV+, will go on sale online at 360buy for 4,567 yuan (US$746), according to a press release on Wednesday. 

Hao Yi, CEO of Multimedia and Gong Yu, CEO of iQIYI, launching their joint product. (credit: TCL)

The set will provide access to over 200,000 selected high-definition videos, movies and drama series free of charge and updated daily, noted the statement. 

"With the cooperation with iQIYI and Baidu, we have become the first Chinese TV maker to have incorporated the Internet business model into the conventional TV business," said Hao Yi, CEO of TCL Multimedia.

The announcement confirms earlier reports that Baidu was in talks to develop smart TVs, and comes two months after e-commerce giant Alibaba unveiled its own plans for a smart TV operating system and set-top box.
Interest in the smart TV space is picking up with new players such as Indian phonemaker Micromax making their foray into the space. Chip giant Intel has also been making a push into offering a television service.

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