BEIJING, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Baidu Inc., which operates China's most popular search engine, formally launched its mobile payment platform "Baidu Wallet" on Tuesday.
The launch follows the release of similar products from major rivals, including Tencent's mobile application Wechat Payment last August and Alibaba's Alipay Wallet in January 2013.
Baidu Wallet provides money transfer, payment and wealth management services, according to Zhang Zhenghua, general manager of Baidu's payment branch Baifubao.
Mergers and acquisitions have been popular in the past year in China's Internet sector as online giants "BAT" -- Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent -- are speeding up development of their mobile Internet business.
The Nasdaq-listed Baidu closed a 1.9 billion U.S. dollar deal to acquire 91 Wireless Websoft, a major Chinese smartphone application distributor, last August.
In May, Baidu spent 370 million U.S. dollars to acquire the online video platform PPS in order to rival industry leader Youku Tudou.