Motorola will start loading Microsoft’s search and map services onto its Android smartphones in China, bringing more non-Google services to the phones amid a row between Google and China.
It is the second time since Google said it would stop censoring its search results in China that Motorola has turned to a Google search rival for its Android phones there. Motorola revealed a search deal with Baidu.com, Google’s main rival in China, soon after Google announced its China plans in January.
Motorola will start pre-loading Microsoft’s Bing search and map services on its Android smartphones in China this quarter, or use updates to add them to phones already on the market, it said Wednesday. Motorola said the deal is a global one, though it gave no details on plans to offer Bing in other countries.
The phones will have a Bing bookmark pre-loaded in the Web browser and what Motorola called a “search widget” that uses Bing. Motorola said the deal would give users more choice but did not say how it related to the Baidu deal, or whether services from other providers would also be pre-loaded on phones.
Google’s plans for its Chinese search engine defy government regulations, which require self-censorship by Internet companies, including search providers. One Android phone from Motorola and another from Samsung had their China launches delayed after Google’s announcement, and Google postponed availability of Google apps on Android phones from Chinese mobile carriers. A Chinese mobile carrier last week started pre-selling the delayed Motorola phone.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt said at a conference in Abu Dhabi Wednesday that his company is in “active negotiations” with the Chinese government and that he expects “something will happen soon,” according to published reports. Google.cn, the company’s China search engine, currently is still censoring results.