Baidu Inc Partners with Nokia to Improve Location Services

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Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) partnered with Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) to improve its location services for Chinese users travelling overseas.

Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) will provide mapping solutions for the mobile and desktop search service of Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU).

Under the agreement, the Chinese-language internet search provider will use Nokia’s HERE maps for its desktop, iOS and Android mapping apps for locations outside mainland China starting with Taiwan. Other countries and territories will follow at the latter stage of the project.

“Every day, millions of people count on HERE to explore the world and discover new places whether at home or on the go. Together with Baidu, a new customer for us, we want to help the growing number of Chinese tourists get the most from their travels,” said Bruno Bourguet, senior vice president and head of sales for Nokia’s HERE maps.

Baidu currently uses Navinfo

Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) is currently using Navinfo to provide location-based services for its users. Its competitor, Tencent Holdings Ltd (HKG:0700) acquired a stake in Navinfo earlier this year.

The Chinese-language internet search provider believed that integrating HERE maps will make Chinese tourists feel comfortable when travelling abroad.

Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) noted that Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) is the first Chinese company to offer location-based services for locals travelling outside China.

Nokia’s HERE maps covers almost 200 countries worldwide. The mapping service provides turn-by-turn navigation for 118 countries. Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) is making 2.7 million updates every day to its mapping service from its advanced vehicle data collection, highly-trained team of cartographers and information obtained from other sources.

Chinese tourists’ top ten destinations

Based on a 2014 survey, 50% of Chinese tourists said the main purpose of their trips abroad is shopping. In 2012, Chinese tourists spent $102 million overseas, which is expected to double next year, according to the previous report from Morgan Stanley. The number of Chinese people travelling outside China increased to 97 million last year.

Hong Kong and Taiwan are the most popular destinations among Chinese tourists because there is no language barrier and both countries offer excellent shopping experience. The trend is expected to change as Chinese tourists tend to become more adventurous as flight destinations show that their top ten destinations include Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul, Toronto and Zurich.

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