Google or Baidu? Whose Search Will Power HTC Android Phones in China?

Google’s (s GOOG) back-and-forth with the Chinese government seems to be costing the search giant a chance to dominate the mobile search and applications business in that country. Local handset makers such as ZTE and Huawei are pressing ahead, while Google is supposedly being pushed aside to make room for its main Chinese rival, Baidu.

The news that Baidu was trying to supplant Google’s search on Android in China coincided with word that HTC, one of the most vocal and early proponents of Android, was going to start selling phones in China. It made me wonder if HTC was going to use Google or Baidu? I mean, if HTC wants to do well in China, it has to go with a search engine that accounts for nearly two-thirds of the total searches in that country. But in pursuing such an option, the company also runs the risk of losing its close and preferential relationship with Google.

In order to get more details, I emailed folks over at HTC. I am still waiting to hear back from them. As for Google, the company promptly declined to comment. What do you think? Who will HTC go for?

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d): Do You Have What It Takes to Do Business In China?

Sign up for subscription only service for $199 a year.