Chinese search engine Baidu is secretly incubating a music app, hoping it can become as popular as ByteDance’s short video app Douyin (known as TikTok outside of China), 36Kr reported on Friday, citing anonymous sources inside the company.
The department in charge of this new app is at this point staffed with no more than ten employees, most of whom once worked on news products. The team is also planning offline singing competitions to discover new music talent, said the sources.
However, all these ideas are still in an early stage of planning, which means the directions it will explore can change at any time, added the sources.
Baidu declined to comment when contacted by KrAsia on Friday.
The company already has its own short video apps, such as Haokan Video (Haokan means “intriguing”), to compete with ByteDance’s Douyin, but they have always trailed behind in the number of downloads.
ByteDance, on the other hand, has started commercializing its search business earlier this year, threatening Baidu’s core business, as KrAsia reported last month.
The company started with offering a basic search function in its news feed app Toutiaoto, letting users search for content within the app. It has also hired Wu Kai, the former head of Qihoo 360’s search unit to spearhead its search initiative.
36Kr is KrAsia’s parent company.
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Editor: Nadine Freischlad