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Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU ) today signed its first global operator agreement with Orange to co-develop a mobile browser for smartphone customers in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia (AMEA).
Orange signed the exclusive deal with Baidu to serve the 80 million people across the AMEA region who have turned to Android smartphones -- a group that grew especially in the second half of 2012.
The browser gives AMEA customers an interface to access Web-based apps and Internet services unique to Baidu and Orange. Along with one-click access to preferred local and global services, the browser is said to be faster and more data-efficient, able to reduce data consumption by 30% to 90%, depending on the service.
The browser is now available on Mobinil – one of Egypt's three mobile phone operators – in Arabic and English. Baidu and Orange are working to launch a French version.