China Mobile will launch an internet search engine next year in a bid to grow its data services business. The move comes because mobile phone penetration is starting to reach saturation point. Growth is slowing as more than 60% of China’s population now owns a mobile phone, compared with less than 10% at the beginning of the decade. So-called teledensity in Beijing and Shanghai is above 90%, according to estimates at BDA China. Bloomberg reports that China Mobile has announced a partnership with the state-owned Xinhua News Agency to create a mobile search joint venture, though it is believed that this will be focused on providing location-based content to subscribers.
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