Baidu Takes Aim At Dropbox, Microsoft SkyDrive, With Cloud Storage Service

Chinese search engine leader Baidu is holding a developers conference today, from where it has just launched a cloud storage platform called Baidu ( NSDQ: BIDU ) WangPan – meaning, literally, ‘web drive’ in Chinese.

As with rivals inclusive of Dropbox, or Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) SkyDrive, it allows users to upload files – be they photos, mp3, videos, apps, text documents, etc. – into the cloud to be stored there and accessed anytime. Baidu WangPan will give a free 15GB of space – greater than Dropbox’s initial 2GB, but less that SkyDrive’s 25GB – with incentives for unlimited free expansion. It is not yet clear if this can offer premium extra storage for consumers or businesses.

Baidu WangPan has apps for PC and Android already, with versions for iOS and Mac within the works. Plus, Android users could make use of 3 Android file-management apps – ES File Explorer, File Expert, and Boat Browser – which all now support Baidu’s new cloud service with updates today.

Baidu’s move is a challenge to Microsoft ( NSDQ: MSFT ), in addition to local firms similar to Alibaba – with its cloud-oriented Aliyun phone – and in addition bolsters its own Android-based phone OS, Baidu Yi , within the face of competition from Apple’s iOS (which has iCloud) and Microsoft’s WP7 ( which launched in China earlier this week).

The new cloud contender is in private beta for now. At 10am Beijing time everyday, 5,000 fresh invites will exit. Get more info at the Baidu WangPan homepage .

  This newsletter originally appeared on Tech In Asia , and is reproduced here with permission.

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