Chinese search engine giant Baidu.com (BIDU) has announced plans to cooperate with six major anti-virus firms from both home and abroad to launch an online anti-virus service which will be the largest third-party anti-virus service platform in China.

The six anti-virus companies that will work with Baidu.com are McAfee, TrendMicro, Ahn, Kingsoft, Jiangmin and Antiy Labs. Apart from providing free virus diagnoses and online anti-virus services on the new platform, the parties will also offer high quality legal anti-virus software for users to download.

Baidu is also talking with other anti-virus service providers and it is expected that more firms will join the program by the end of this year.

Statistics from iResearch show that China's anti-virus market scale reached CNY1.06 billion in 2005. iResearch estimates that China's anti-virus software market will continue its stable growth in the coming year, which is the main reason why Baidu has joined this potentially lucrative field.

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