Baidu reportedly in talks to develop smart TVs

Chinese search giant said to be in discussions with local manufacturer Huan Technology on developing a set-top box or chip for use in smart TVs, which could take on Alibaba Group's move into the Internet TV space in July.

Baidu and Huan Technology are reportedly in talks to develop smart TVs.

Baidu is said to be in talks with a Chinese manufacturer, Huan Technology, to help develop smart televisions.

Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing two people familiar with the matter, the Chinese search giant is discussing working with Huan Technology to develop a set-top box or chip for use in smart TVs. The people asked not to be identified because discussions are private.

Huan Technology is a joint venture between Sichuan Changhong Electric and TCL Multimedia Technology Holdings, the third-largest flat panel TV maker in the world by revenue share, according to researcher DisplaySearch in June.

Baidu's reported plans will take on Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, who ventured into the Internet TV space in July with the unveiling of its smart TV operating system (OS) and set-top box in July this year.

When approached by Bloomberg, Baidu and Huan Technology both declined to comment.

Baidu last week bought a 59 percent stake in e-commerce Web site operator Nuomi Holdings for US$160 million. It also bought Internet video business PPStream in May for US$370 million and has been combining it with, which is it acquired last year to create China's largest online video platform.