Apple and Baidu, sitting in a tree


A few months back, there was talk that Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) were about to team up on Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), making Baidu the default search engine within iOS for iDevices in China.

Those rumours have resurfaced, and this time from a recent Bloomberg report that pegs an imminent announcement. That would be a nice boon for Baidu, although it already serves up nearly four out of five Internet searches in the Middle Kingdom. It would certainly help Baidu grow its mobile ad business in particular.

It makes plenty of sense, as Apple has already expressed interest in integrating various local Web services within the country into its operating systems, such as the inclusion of video sharing site Youku (Nasdaq: YOKU) and SINA‘s (Nasdaq: SINA) Weibo microblogging service in the next major iteration of Apple’s desktop operating system, OS X Mountain Lion.

If the rumblings prove accurate, it would be just another minor way that Apple continues to snub Google.

Making Baidu the primary search engine instead of Google would similarly be a blow to Google as it tries to grow market share in China. Big G’s share sits at 16.6%, far short of Baidu’s overwhelming 78.5% slice. In fairness, Baidu is still by far the dominant search engine so its place as the default still seems more appropriate.

They don’t call Baidu the “Google of China” for nothing.

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A version of this article, written by Evan Niu, originally appeared on fool.com

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