Chinese company Baidu already offers an alternative web search in China, but now the company is following Google into the hardware market as well. Baidu quietly released its own version of the Chromecast dongle today, selling the “Shadow Stick” through online retailer Jingdong for 198 yuan or about $32. The official Chromecast, by comparison, costs $35, and initially came with three months of free Netflix, though that offer is no longer available.
The Shadow Stick appears to serve the same purpose as the Chromecast, streaming media from your smartphone, tablet or computer browser onto any HDTV equipped with the dongle. While Google’s version only works with a handful of services, mostly within its own ecosystem, Baidu’s clone supports Airplay, DLNA, as well as Baidu’s own BDPlay and iQiyi content.
Baidu appears set on presenting itself as China’s version of Google. Aside from offering web search, the company is also working on its own version of Google Glass, allegedly called Baidu Eye. Baidu made its first foray into the living room earlier this month, launching a Smart TV as well as a USB Wi-Fi dongle and a wireless router.