Joe Hu, CEO of the new 91 Wireless, was on stage at our TechCrunch Shanghai talking about Baidu’s acquisition of 91 Wireless. This is his first appearance in public since the Baidu deal.

Baidu, the Chinese search giant, paid $1.85 billion in cash for 91 Wireless, one of the largest Android/jailbroken iOS app distributors in China. It is so far the largest acquisition deal in China’s Internet industry. When asked by TechNode founder Dr. Gang Lu how to justify such a high price, Mr. Hu said it’s because, apart from that 91 has built a mobile app ecosystem, it could change the whole picture of China Internet market. It implies the next strategic moves by Chinese Internet giants as the competition mechanism in China mobile Internet market will be very different. Also it reflects Baidu’s understanding and expectations in 91.

The 91 ecosystem includes Android/jailbroken iOS app distribution platforms, a mobile reading platform, Android launcher, among others. 91 is of the top when it comes to mobile game distribution and mobile advertising, Hu pointed out. The company planned to share 400-500 million yuan ($65-80 mn) to third-party developers by the year end, but it had reached the goal last month.

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Tracey Xiang

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