At its annual show for technology and innovation today, Baidu announced ‘Light App’ strategy. According to Baidu’s introduction, you don’t need to download a Light App but can use it directly after it shows up as a search result — sounds just like WebApp. So app developers have to convert their native apps into a WebApp to Baidu’s standards or use the app builder provided by Baidu if they think the upcoming Light App store is an important app distribution channel.

Explaining why Baidu would do so, Robin Li, CEO of Baidu, blamed the existing native app store model, saying 1) 99.9% apps combined only account for 30% of the total downloads while the 0.1% enjoys 70% of the total. It’s hard for newly released apps to stand out; 2) use rate of downloaded apps in smartphones is low.

Well, the reasoning isn’t sound at all. Take the website world where a website is searchable and can be used directly. Any of us only knows a limited number of websites and use even fewer regularly.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com