Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) announced yesterday that it would offer Baidu Navigation for free ever after. The company promised today to refund the users who purchased their navigation services on both Android and iOS platforms. AutoNavi (NASDAQ:AMAP), a leading map service in China, followed suit shortly afterwards, declaring that its navigation software will also be offered for free.

These moves will undoubtedly overhaul the navigation market. Compared with dedicated navigation machines usually priced at over 300 yuan ($48.67), Baidu and AutoNavi navigation apps once priced at 30 yuan and 50 yuan respectively are much cost-effective choices. Let alone the services are free now. AutoNavi Navigation has been pre-installed or downloaded for more than 70 million times, according to financial report of the company.

Baidu Navigation

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.