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Nokia HERE to power maps for Baidu outside China

HERE for Android now available on Google Play

It has been announced Nokia’s HERE mapping solutions will be powering search engine Baidu outside its home country China. Nokia said the search giant, which already uses HERE for its desktop version of its location and mapping services, will add the solution to its map apps for Android and iOS.

The apps will first be extended to Taiwan, with other countries to follow although further details were not yet disclosed. Nokia claimed Baidu is the first Chinese provider to offer location-based services to locals travelling abroad.

According to data from the Chinese National Tourism Administration, annual international tourism by Chinese travellers has grown from 29 million a year in 2004 to 97 million last year. With $102 billion spent abroad in 2012, the administration also reckons the Chinese now also represent the biggest spending power in international tourism.

“Every day, millions of people count on HERE to explore the world and discover new places whether at home or on the go,” Bruno Bourguet, SVP and Head of Sales at HERE said. “Together with Baidu, a new customer for us, we want to help the growing number of Chinese tourists get the most from their travels.”

HERE for Android was launched in Google Play store last week and the iPhone app will be available in the App Store at the beginning of next year. Nokia has postponed the HERE for iPhone app launch from the original plan to bring it to market by the end of this year. It hasn’t been made clear what has caused the delay.

HERE maps differ from Google’s in that users can download the full maps of several countries to have them on their phone simultaneously and access them even when offline. Google maps only allows the download of an area limited to 50×50 kilometres.

The beta version of HERE for Android has been available through Nokia’s website since late last month, and Samsung has made it available via its own app store since October. Nokia has not recently updated HERE for Lumia, which is now licensed to Microsoft.


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