Chinese search giant Baidu is to use Nokia’s HERE for its Android and iOS mapping apps outside of China — an example of how the Finnish company hopes to compete with leading rival Google Maps.
A desktop version of Baidu Maps already uses HERE mapping content, while the apps will follow, starting with coverage of Taiwan.
Baidu’s location service enables the growing number of Chinese tourists to plan their journeys at home (on the PC), and then find their way around when abroad (the mobile apps).
More significantly, the deal represents one of the three ways identified by Nokia to compete with Google’s mapping service.
Nokia’s CEO Rajeev Suri laid out a three-pronged strategy for HERE back at the company’s Capital Markets Day in November.
He laid out three opportunities on offer: car navigation, asset management for the enterprise sector, and selling mapping information to big internet players such as Amazon and Microsoft – which would rather not be reliant on rival Google.
“This approach will limit the risk of taking Google on directly,” he said.
The Baidu deal appears to fit with the third category, which Suri described as being a “B2B2C opportunity”.