Motorola puts Bing on Chinese phones

Motorola and Microsoft have signed a deal to put Bing search and mapping services on mobile phones in China – neatly filling the gap Google looks like creating.

Under the deal, Motorola Android-based phones will have a Bing bookmark pre-loaded and an enhanced search widget with Bing integration – although customers will be able to switch to another default search engine if they choose.

“Mobile devices continue to be a critical place for customers to access location-based services such as local search and mapping,” said Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president of the Online Services Division at Microsoft.

“We are pleased to expand our long-standing relationship with Motorola to bring powerful Bing location-based services to Motorola’s innovative new mobile devices, providing consumers with more choice and flexibility in mobile search.”

Motorola also recently signed a deal to allow users to use Baidu as an alternative search engine in China. With Motorola committed to Google’s Android platform and Google threatening to pull out of China, the company’s plans to make it big in the country have been looking a little shaky.

Search and Maps will initially be available only in China, starting in the next few weeks, although it looks highly likely to be extended elsewhere.

The software will be supplied through either pre-load or over-the-air updates for existing devices.